Although it may be a joyous season for some, the holidays are not for everyone. For many reasons, some people hate the holidays. I am one of those people. The holidays for me are a time of immense stress and a loss of freedom as family members tend to appear in droves to spread the ‘holiday cheer.’ For this year’s holiday season, there is less travel from home to home, but the stress remains the same or even worse. The family members we used to loathe, some might find themselves missing. The pandemic has some holiday lovers clinging to the mistletoe and carols but sending the holiday haters to the hills. Here are some tips on managing holiday stress that help me get through this dreaded time every year.
For college students, the holiday season also coincides with the end of the semester making an intersection of stress and more stress. Instead of putting up Christmas decorations, now is the time to finally do some minor renovations. Therefore leaving this holiday season feeling like an entrapment of sorts. The best thing we can all do for our mental health is to carve out a little space for ourselves. It might be good for some manual labor to build a space to call your own. It is just a simple step towards reclaiming ourselves in this chaotic season.
One Christmas movie won’t hurt
Consider A Nightmare Before Christmas as a minor offense as far as Christmas movies go. No matter the reasoning you may hate the holiday season, the message of togetherness and joy should still be celebrated. Many Christmas movies strive to make even the most bitter of scrooges feel something in their ice-cold hearts. There have also been a few movies as of recent about people who hate the holidays. No matter the movie, remember the positive themes in the movies such as family and joy.
Chuck the gift lists
Maybe you hate the holidays because your wallet hates the holidays. With finances being especially tight given the negative effect of the pandemic on employment, DIY gifts kill two birds with one stone by creating heartfelt gifts on a low budget. We get to slow down and focus on the gift and how it would be important to the gift recipient. The best part is that if they hate the gift, they will grit their teeth and say thank you.
Find your support system of holiday haters
Just because holiday haters don’t like the holiday season, doesn’t mean they like being alone. This year made isolation a buzzword as well as a completely valid feeling that some have come to fear. Make sure you reach out to people this holiday season. Even if the other person hates the holidays too, they might be excited to hear from you. A kind word or a regular conversion can fight the feeling of isolation and help forget the dreaded holidays.
Detox of all kinds
There is no need to focus on social media during the holidays. There are too many people posing in front of Christmas trees with their pets in corny outfits. If there is ever a time to get off of social media, it is now. Between keeping updated on the pandemic, or international political conflict, it is all way too much to internalize simultaneously. The best thing to do for your mental health is to put on a homemade facemask and remove the social media apps from your phone. Watching TV might actually be what the doctor prescribed.
These tips on managing holiday stress are in no way exhaustive for getting through this holiday season like no other. To my fellow grinches, I wish you all a productive and relaxing holiday season. To all those holiday lovers, I wish the same– with a side of sleigh bells.