Christmas as we know it is… canceled. It looks like a lot of us across the UK will spend Christmas in a higher tier than we predicted – so how can we cope emotionally and mentally over this unusual festive period?
Anxiety, stress, depression, and loneliness – perhaps you are feeling some of these things, or perhaps your friends and family are. It’s been a tough year, with the Covid Pandemic, and in the midst of the darkness, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At least that was until the Government canceled Christmas. Okay, okay, they didn’t technically cancel Christmas, but for a lot of us, it feels like they have done. It’s going to be a challenging one, so here are my tips on how to cope with this.
1. ACCEPT THAT IT IS WHAT IT IS – ONE DAY WE WILL LOOK BACK AT THIS AND SAY ‘REMEMBER THAT CHRISTMAS …’
It might not feel like it now, but it didn’t feel like that to our Grandparents in the war either – still, years on they always had a tale to tell and an ‘I remember when’ story to regale us with. Yes, this is not what most of us are used to, but the fastest way to enjoy this festive season is to come to a place of acceptance. it is what it is, and so think of how you can make this a story to look back on.
2. REACH OUT TO PEOPLE IN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK AND ARRANGE A ZOOM CALL.
There are a lot of people who do not have family, or who are spending their time on their own and will perhaps need someone to talk to aside from their family,. One idea that I had was to arrange a zoom call with people in your social network so that nobody feels alone, as loneliness is one of the biggest hurdles that we have to face this Christmas.
3. DEVISE A SCHEDULE – HOW WILL YOU FILL THE DAY AHEAD?
If you are used to rushing here and there and the thought of being at home bothers you, create a schedule. What time will you breakfast? What time with you do lunch? Then think of how you can socially fill your schedule, even if it is virtual. Think ZOOM CHARADES, CLASSIC GAMES LIKE ‘I WENT TO MARKET AND I BOUGHT’…
4. GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY AND GET ‘THROUGH IT TOGETHER’.
Usually, something that happens when you do an online course, or in a work capacity, but find a friend who you can buddy up with and arrange to text each other and schedule a call, or WhatsApp chat so that you are there for each other if things get hard for you.
5. ACCEPT WHATEVER FEELINGS ARISE FOR YOU – THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO DO THIS.
You don’t have to pretend like it’s a normal Christmas and do everything like you usually would do. Stay in your pyjamas if it makes you feel better.. because you can! Get up later than you normally would… you don’t even have to have Christmas Day if you don’t feel like it. YOU get to choose how you feel throughout this. Go easy on yourself, and know that if it’s just not feeling right for you, that’s okay too!
We are allowed to feel emotional, confused, lost, missing our loved ones, and also feelings like anger and resentment are perfectly natural. Nobody could know that this was coming, and even the best-laid plans go awry sometimes. All any of us can do is be HONEST about how we feel, take it one hour at a time, and be grateful that we are all here.
I really hope that you have a lovely Christmas, albeit a little ‘different’, remember how resilient we all are, we can do this, and we can get through the other side TOGETHER.
Always here if you need me,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE,
Speak to you next week,
ABOUT CHRISTOPHER PAUL JONES
Christopher Paul Jones Phobia Specialist.S work is featured regularly on international TV, radio, and in the press, including the BBC, CBC, Hello, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and national newspapers.
Christopher’s clients come from all over the world to see him in his consulting rooms on London’s world-renowned Harley Street, and he counts Hollywood actors, Oscar nominees, models, musicians, presenters, and celebrities among them.