Dreading the Christmas season? If so you are not on your own. A quick poll of our volunteers showed we have all had a year when we really dreaded Christmas. For some of us it was because of bereavement and for others it was due to bad news, redundancy or ill health. Most of us had found that the pressure to ‘get in the spirit’ either from well meaning friends and family or sometimes from ourselves added to the difficult time.
Here we have put together some of our top tips that helped us.
- See Christmas as not one day but a series of events. It may be that you feel you can take part in something on your own terms – a carol service, a charity event or something that helps you connect with others having a difficult time.
- Be realistic and don’t expect things to be perfect. Take short cuts and set achievable goals in terms of any preparations that you have decided you do want to do
- Get support and information – for example on managing grief when others are celebrating https://palliativecare.org.au/youre-not-alone-tips-managing-grief-holidays and have a list of phone lines. These can be really helpful just to take time out to say to someone how difficult it feels to someone you don’t have to then spend time with.
- If on your own, know that there are many others in the same situation either literally or feeling isolated and cut off from others. How about attending an event where there may be others in a similar situation?
- Squash at 112-114 Windsor Street, L8 will be opening its doors on Christmas Day. Everyone is welcome to call in between 10am and 4pm for hot drinks, festive treats and scouse (from midday). The kindly folks at Squash are offering all of this for free/by donation http://squashliverpool.co.uk/
- The ramblers often do walks over the Christmas period, maybe you could join them? https://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/festival-of-winter-walks.aspx
- How about a trip to the museums? There are numerous museums in Liverpool city centre alone which are open through most of the Christmas period and are free to enter, https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/christmas/.
- How about settling into a good book? Liverpool library is open to all, apart from the bank holidays https://liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/find-a-library/central-library/
- Keep busy when you feel like it – but learn what helps and what doesn’t.
- Reward yourself. If you want to decorate, keep it short and close to the day and do it when you feel you can, rewarding yourself for doing something hard.
- Watch a comedy or read something that will help you switch off and have a ‘holiday’ from the pain. Research shows that laughing and smiling can give you a bit of time out of grief.
- Tell yourself this year will soon be over and you are going to make sure things feel different next year.