Feeling like the Christmas crazy is getting to you? We hear you! In this, our part two of the things we hate about Christmas despite how enormously jolly we try to be about it all, we talk share brutal truths about the things we hate about Christmas that really leave us feeling less ho ho ho, and more help help help. Plus we join forces with experts on how to deal with classic Christmas pet peeves. Missed part one? Catch up here.
The next 6 things we hate about Christmas
The anxiety-inducing ridiculously long build up that Christmas has become
It all begins with a low level feeling of unease when Christmas in July emails start hitting my inbox. But I haven’t even had my summer yet! OK that is an extreme case for sure, but it does feel like the Christmas build up gets cunningly longer every year doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I hate about Christmas it’s a friend telling my they have done all their Christmas shopping by Novembe, sending me instantly into low level panic. So how we can deal with being strung along like this?
Aaron Surtees, a hypnotherapist, psychologist, and founder of app subconsciously.com says, ‘Christmas is a time for celebrating but while many of us enjoy Christmas it is becoming more common place to dread the festivities and anxiety around this time of year is rising. There is huge pressure and expectation which can lead to stress. To overcome the problem, a switch in a person’s mindset is key. This can be achieved by hypnotherapy.
You can try this at home by using proven self-hypnosis techniques to re-write your subconscious mind. Self-hypnosis can simply be practiced once a day when you wake up in the morning by breathing slowly, softly and meditating on the edge of your bed for a few minutes up to 20 minutes every day. Make sure you breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth and concentrate on this alone. It is all about improving your state of mind by training your brain to relax which in turn alters your mindset and reduces your stress levels.
As you sit still breathing in and out slowly, imagine the feeling that is concerning you, as a cloud in your mind, with your breathing pull it down into your heart, into your chest and then into your stomach. Then focus on pushing it back around into your arms. Once in your arms use your breathing to pull the cloud down to your hands and then push the cloud out of your hands as though you are pushing the feelings away and letting go of your negative feelings.’
Having to pretend to love and be grateful for crappy gifts from loved ones
You know the drill, the one where you have to over compensate by about 2000% because the gift you have been given by said family member who should really know better know is just so tremendously crappy. You’d think that they would have learnt to see through those fake coos and smiles by now. But oh no, this year like all others, we have to suck up the crappiness yet again. Or do we?
Mairead Molloy, Global MD at Berkeley International, says that while unfortunately we do have to pretend to like a gift someone gave you, it’s important to understand why misguided gift giving can be so irksome, ‘Receiving an unfitting gift from a partner however can make you feel misunderstood. It seems like the giver thinks you’re a different person—a person with interests in maritime history, trojan horses and tea towels. That said, most gifts aren’t given with mean intentions. Poor gifts are usually just a result of laziness and ignorance. Try some of these tips for a better gift receiving experiencem:
– Give more direction next year: generate ideas and make lists. Be far more direct about what you want. Ladies – start sending him photos of things you like a month before the holidays, with the caption, Present idea – Men ask what they would like – ask for a list and take the time to be thoughtful.
– Make a joke of it – it helps. After you have been very grateful and acknowledged how thoughtful the hoover is, you can make a joke like, Hopefully we both get some use out of this. Ladies, take note that men have “fix-it” brains. They love finding solutions. Your partner has probably just heard you complain that your old hoover is rubbish and takes forever to clean the house. While it may seem like your partner is being pretty sexist and insinuating you must love cleaning because you’re a woman, he isn’t.
– Remember the effort. No matter what your partner gives you, remember that they put effort into this. They put time and thought into it. They thought about your life and thought, what would make your days so much better. They got it wrong, but they did put some thought into it – that’s a gift in itself.
– If you really don’t like the gift, don’t overdo the lie. Pretending you do like it – it will be noticed.
– If appropriate, ask where it was bought so you can take it back!
A few gift pointers:
– When buying a gift, ask the person what they would like rather than buying just anything – it’s good to get ideas and it shows you care.
– Buy something for them that you would like to receive (if you have things in common!
– If you do receive something and you really don’t like it, use the tips above. If they don’t work, take the gift to a charity shop – don’t keep it in the attic and take it out when they visit!’
Whiny little children who don’t appreciate the expensive gifts they’ve been given
Personally, there is nothing that makes my blood boil more outrageously year round than ungrateful children. Lord help the child that bemoans a Christmas gift to me this year then! Of course, when faced with this, we all then cite the poor starving children in African who have nothing. But my goodness isn’t it true? So when faced with ingratitude from our little humans this year, what to do?
Nora Szanto, psychologist and high-performance strategist reflects, ‘When my son was younger, he mostly received small and inexpensive presents”, said She continues, ‘Even for his 9th birthday, he wanted a Rubik’s cube worth around 15 dollars. Then, something has changed. First, he asked for a remote-controlled boat, which cost about 100 dollars. Then he begged for a 250-dollar freestyle scooter, which was soon followed by a PC with a monitor, costing in total over a thousand dollars. However, the other common pattern was that he started nagging us for something else the moment he got the presents. He became insatiable. When we said no, he got extremely frustrated. I used to be very disappointed by his reaction, but then figured out that we, the parents need to change things. Here are my tips for you if you are also facing similar behaviour by your child:
– Set a budget: Many children don’t understand the real value of money, especially if they see that all their friends have the latest gadgets, the trendiest shoes, etc. If they really want an expensive item, just tell them you have a certain budget, and if it is above the limit, they have to chip in. They will either realise that they don’t want the present after all, or they will actually work for it, which will make them appreciate it so much more.
– Try to avoid instant gratification: Instead of buying the kids immediately everything they want, focus on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas. Let them practice patience. Research shows that delayed gratification is one of the most essential traits of successful people.
– Cultivate gratitude: One of the best tips I’ve ever heard to teach gratitude to children is to ask them to do certain chores once a month for which they get paid. The trick is that they have to spend the money they earned on helping someone else. This makes them appreciate more what they have and also helps them understand the value of hard-earned money.’
The unrelenting expectation to be cheerful and jolly at all times when really you feel depressed or angry
Let’s face it, by 1st December we are all pretty much just dragging ourselves to the finish line. We’ve had enough of what this year has dealt us, and just want to switch off from the daily grind. The downside to this is it basically makes you feel like you’re wading through glue for about three weeks. This I completely hate about Christmas! So how else can we approach this period when we’re running of empty and feeling pretty miffed with the world?
Bev Cripps, Life Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist says it’s completely normal to feel that way ‘When hibernation until March seems the only sensible idea, however exhausted and overwhelmed you are, it is possible to see this time in a different way’, says . ‘Many cultures call these months the time of renewal, by making small almost effortless changes, it can be a time for you to hunker down and build the foundation for a good year. Small changes implemented daily, have exponential gains as a basis for growth.
Recording what you have done in a table, or a journal, reinforces them. This is a lovely one to try at the end of the day. Think about three good things that have happened during the day. However tough the day has been, they will be there, even if it’s the fact that it simply didn’t rain! Noticing the positive in a sea of grey helps rewire our experiences of the world. Think of things you can also commit to doing every day that you do just for you. These green shoots grow as we feel more confident in our commitment to ourselves as the years progresses. We can do small things and together these can have a huge impact.’
Overindulgence and the knowledge that you are going to feel sick from all the Xmas eating
Who ate all the pies? We did! But seriously, Christmas is synonymous with excess, and after all you have been so good all year, so you deserve a treat or twenty don’t you my precious? But we all know how that one ends up. Usually with an intense sense of self loathing come January. So how we step away from the relentless conveyor belt of temptation?
Penny Weston, fitness, wellness guru and nutrition expert says, ‘As the festive period approaches many people see their social diary getting busier and as a result of this increase in social events, late nights, reduced sleep and change in diet and alcohol intake, many people begin to feel sluggish, bloated, tired and sick from all the Christmas eating.
In order to stop yourself feeling sluggish too early into the festive season and too stuffed from all the extra eating, I think that it’s crucial to try and maintain as much of your normal health and fitness routine as possible. For example, if you’re used to exercising three times a week, try not to suddenly stop doing this as the festive season approaches because by completely stopping the exercise that your body, and mind, are used to will cause you to feel tired and see your energy levels dip. Exercise leads to the release of endorphins that help to reduce anxiety, depression and low moods as well as boosting self-esteem. Even slow walking still has some effect at releasing these hormones and boosting mood.’
Also nutrition is an important factor in preventing feelings of sluggishness, bloating and feeling sick from too much festive food. It’s inevitable that when you’re going out over the festive period your diet won’t be as healthy as it usually is, however try to ensure that you’re putting as many nutrients into your body as possible at breakfast. An ideal way to do this is with a smoothie. Particular favourites of mine include my Vitamin Rich Super Smoothie which contains nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs and gives you a natural boost of energy. It contains blueberries, banana, spinach, kale, chia seeds, spirulina, vanilla protein, and almond milk. Having a glass of this in the morning will provide an energy boost and help to prevent bloating
It’s also a good idea to pre-make some healthy meals or snacks to take out with you or leave in the fridge at home so that you’re not tempted to grab fast food on the go, as this is often high in sugars and salts. Allowing ourselves a treat over the festive period is important, and indulging in alcohol or food treats won’t be detrimental to your overall health, diet or size if in moderation, and it’s important that we don’t beat ourselves up about it if we do.’
The massive Christmas come down in January when you are staring into an abyss of nothing to look forward to
Oh god, I already feel depressed at the thought of January just writing the word! If there’s one things that trumps the things we hate about Christmas it’s dealing with the massive January come down. But there must be another way instead of spending a month feeling sorry for ourselves and licking our Christmas wounds?
Intuitive Life Coach Ali Ford says yes there is – hurrah!
‘It’s common to feel tired, deflated, and even a bit blue after the furore around Christmas and New Year celebrations’, highlights ‘Added to that is the burden and pressure to set resolutions, reinvent yourself and somehow find the energy to be a ‘new you’. All at the back-end of an undoubtedly crazy-busy time.
‘I don’t believe in forcing and striving the minute January hits! Instead, if you feel a bit of a lull after the festivities, turn to celebrating yourself instead. Reflect back and explore your achievements, successes and the hurdles you have crossed off in the last 12 months. Journal your gratitudes for all that you are, all that you have, and the many experiences you have enjoyed and still have to come.
Next, use your intuition to explore what you need most right now. Perhaps you need to plan something to look forward to, maybe you need some time and space for yourself? Take a few days off and spend them solely focussed on self-nurture and soul restoration. This will look different for everyone, but if you move your focus away from thinking and anchor into feeling, your intuition will tell you everything you need to know about raising your vibration and moving back into flow.’
Which of the above do you also hate about Christmas? Let us know in a comment below and follow us on Instagram where we’ll be keeping the conversation going.