• jennylbradshaw

Christmas Without You

As soon as you close the front door behind the last trick or treater on 31st October, we begin to barrel headfirst into festivities of Christmas and this year seems more significant than ever. THAT Christmas ad was released in the first week of November, people on social media appear to be putting up trees, invitations to Christmas get togethers, planning of office parties, discussions between families of who you are going to spend the big day with and who gets Boxing Day this year. It seems super charged this year following the minefield that 2020 Christmas was. Many of us are desperate to see family, spend the day with as many humans as possible.

Some of us however, might feel that this Christmas is just too much. If you were bereaved this year, the first Christmas can prove exceptionally difficult. Thoughts of who should be there, of what presents they might have received, how they might have looked in matching PJs, would they enjoy a Brussel sprout, or perhaps just have been spending quality time with doting grandparents, or basking in the excitement of the year ahead.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Christmas is different for everyone and is different every year. If this year it is feeling a lot to manage then have a think about what would make it easier for you.

1. Review your social media usage

Social media is a wonderful thing when used with caution and with boundaries. It’s important to curate your content regularly. Consider who you are following, is looking at that content making you feel good or not? If not, consider unfollowing or hiding their content temporarily. You could also put time limiters on social media apps to prevent the hours of scroll time, which also invariably leave us feeling drained. Or perhaps, if you can, delete the apps for the time being, give yourself a social media break.

2. Remember you are allowed to turn down invitations.

If you are facing endless invitations to wonderful events and finding the concept of being out the house, switched on and presentable too much, then consider carefully which events you feel able to attend and politely decline the ones that feel too much this year.

3. Spend Christmas Day the way that feels right for you this year.

If being around a lot of people doesn’t feel right this year, then talk to your family and prioritise your own needs. Having boundaries for yourself and what you feel able to do can be very helpful in navigating this time of year. If you do choose to spend Christmas with your family, consider discussing with key members in advance how much you might like to talk about your baby, perhaps you would like a bauble with your baby’s name on, perhaps you would like to make a toast, perhaps you would rather just have quiet conversations about your baby or none at all. Planning in advance what it might look like and what feels comfortable for you can help prevent any curveballs.

4. Find the things that bring you joy in the festive period.

Is it eating Quality Street, cosy socks, warm fires, winter walks, movie marathons? Perhaps it is mulled wine or hot chocolate. There may be something that happens in the winter months that brings you joy, a moment of contentedness. Seek out those things and endeavour to engage with them in any way you can. Sometimes joy and sadness can sit next to each other.

Do any of these tips help you? Perhaps you’d like to talk to someone about what is going on for you this festive period? Please do get in touch via the Contact me page.

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