northin the collective imagination Christmas is associated with the happiest time of the year.. Family lunches and dinners are the order of the day, as is a smile on your face and always being in company. But it is not so for everyone. The end of the year represents for many a time of sadness or loneliness just like it can happen in summer, a lot to talk about Christmas melancholy: «Even those who usually love this time of year can sometimes feel stressed and low on energy. It is a time when the pressure is very high between preparing, consuming, eating, giving, being in company, never saying no, loving everyone, appearing happy at all costs”, he explains. Carolina Traverso, psychologist, psychotherapist and mindfulness teacher.
Christmas, between stress and high expectations, the expansion of Holiday Blues
When it comes to Christmas melancholy We are not referring to a psychiatric or humoral disorder, “but it is a generalized tiredness but that, often, one cannot admit for fear of being judged» explains the expert. Many times all this pressure comes from ourselves, from what the expert defines as “inner critic”: “It is the part of us that could tell us that something is wrong if we experience different emotions of those proposed by the prevailing narrative or, worse still, that we are not doing it right. First let’s learn to recognize it: is a voice within us that loves to express itself with absolute opinions and words like “must”, “always” and “never”». The result is that this input often push too hard to question and, if it does not meet expectations, a to withdraw into oneself or become overzealousperfectionism or even competitiveness.
In this period of the year, in fact, the expectations towards ourselves and those around us are very high. This is usually the time of the year when you should be cheerful and happy, available to others: «All this is an unrealistic expectation that does not take into account the fact that we are sentient beings and our emotional life is complex and varied».
How to behave? “Rather, once we’ve practiced recognizing it when it appears, let’s try a softer approach. Let’s tell him that he is tired, that it must be very exhausting to carry the weight of all these negative thoughts and that the time has come for a hot herbal tea and a good nap. The welcome approach won’t get him out of the way, but it will lessen the hold he has over us.”
Great Christmas expectations for the family
High expectations, almost always disappointed, very often worry the family. At Christmas the myth of the “perfect family” is widespread. Nothing more false: as the expert points out, nobody is perfect up close. A good exercise to practice during this time is to let go of your fantasies.
“We are convinced that to feel good, family members must behave in accordance with our wishes. If we want to make some love connections you have to put aside your fantasies, open your eyes and don’t assume we already know everything about who we’re dealing with. Perhaps there is still a lot to learn, even about those we have known for years. Together we share a story that has created a certain climate between us, but are we really sure that we can’t be surprised? Secondly, Do our relatives really know everything about us?
So in that sense, instead of looking and feeling down and bored, why don’t try to let go of expectations and know who you’re dealing with?
At Christmas, the feeling of loneliness.
Along with the betrayed expectations, there is also a feeling of loneliness.. It is no coincidence that Christmas is considered the happiest time but also the loneliest of the year. and this can happen regardless of being surrounded by friends and family: «A feeling that manifests itself especially if we are going through particular moments, for example financial difficulties and we feel inadequate when we think that others are better off than us. Or, proposals to reunite with friends and family make us think about what was happening in our lives, in the same period, in previous years. A feeling that is felt especially if during the year there have been important changes such as duels or divorces.
How to deal with it then? “The desire to withdraw into oneself increases. But in this way the situation can only get worse. Better then create more intimate opportunities for interactionwith trusted friends who don’t judge or practicing generosityperhaps donating time to a cause that interests you. Think of creative ways to connect with others, based on their needs and interests, to carry them into the next year. For example, dance and theater groups, yoga centers, cooking classes and volunteer associations.
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