It is not unusual for you to feel deeply upset around Christmas is it? Sad when the calendar says you should be feeling joyful. Angry because of the unfairness of your situation. Missing the one thing that no-one can give you as a present.
Maybe the Covid-19 Christmas restrictions have made this time of year a little easier for you.
- No faking you are having fun with a room full of extended family members.
- No pretending you are not ready for a baby yet, even though you've been trying for years.
- Acting nonchalant when you are asked if you are worried about your biological clock ticking. Despite worrying about how many eggs you have left with each passing month.
Being able to avoid situations that cause you pain doesn't take away the pain you already have though does it?
Perhaps for you the pandemic has made things worse. You are...
- Feeling more isolated and lonely than ever as you were desperately looking forward to seeing your mum/sister/grandparents/...
- Feeling even less heard than usual with other's upset leaving no room for your pain.
- Sick of hearing people saying we must all be grateful for what we have rather than what we are missing.
Others don't realise that what you are missing can't suddenly be reclaimed when Covid-19 releases its hold on us though do they?
Whether this Christmas feels a bit easier or a whole lot worse, it is important to find space for your feelings.
All of your feelings even the more difficult ones want to guide you to the next best action to take. Giving yourself the space to notice the individual feelings, will help you to discover what that guidance is. In turn you will be more emotionally in control and less overwhelmed by your feelings.
We aren't generally taught how to understand the guidance of our emotions, but I will take you through some examples to help you get started.
You can also learn more about this guidance and my 4A Process in my previous blog post, 'Feeling forced to step up in times of crisis can do you more harm than good.'
For now have a read of the following and see what resonates with you.
- Sadness wants to give you time to heal. So if are feeling sad this Christmas look for activities that will allow you to simply be. You don't have to be alone. You can be snuggled up on the sofa with your partner binge watching movies or reading a book. You can go out for a walk hand in hand, comfortable in your own thoughts, and letting the calm of nature soothe you.
- Anger wants to put things rights. The problem is that sometimes there is nothing we can do to put a situation right. What useful action might anger want to guide you towards instead? Maybe it is an activity that physically exerts you. Punching (not your partner), a cushion or something else you can pummel your feelings into. Perhaps if you are out on that walk you can find somewhere secluded and scream at the top of your voice. Or you can put on a great song full of feeling and dance around your front room, singing at the top of your voice.
- Guilt want us to put things right when we've done something wrong. Most of the time we feel guilty because someone has laid guilt at our door. I guarantee if you are feeling guilty about anything over the festive period it is for this reason. So just tell the guilt to fuck off (did she really say that?). Yes I did and if guilt shows up make sure you say it.
- Loneliness wants us to connect and is quite possibly one of the biggest feeling showing up over this Christmas period. I know it isn't the same but use Zoom to connect with whomever you want to spent time with. Accept that this is your only solution for now and don't add to your pain by thinking about how you wish it could be. It's shit and unfair but dwelling on how you wish things to be causes you more upset. Accepting the situation for what it is helps you make the best of it.
- Joy (you didn't expect to bring this up in a list for of tough emotions did you?). Be open to noticing any moments of joy, because often when we are in a bad place we shut down to good things even when they are staring us right in the face. You may be surprised how many joyful moments you stack up over the next few weeks.
I hope that even if this Christmas is different to the one your would prefer, that you and your family can still find a way to connect and have fun. 2020 has certainly been different and everyone has experienced their own challenges because of it. It would appear that those challenges have yet to come to an end.
Please don't feel alone and unheard. If you need support we have a fabulous Community full of wonderful support waiting for you.
You can find us by clicking here.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. xxx