For many of us, Christmas can trigger unwanted emotions including loneliness, inadequacy, stress, pain, upset, hurt and anger. Let’s be honest here, for a lot of people it’s not all families, fairies and tinsel. However advertising and marketing for many years has promoted the ‘perfect Christmas with the picture-perfect family’, encouraging families to get together to celebrate, pull crackers and fall about laughing. The reality is, many of us either don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with, or have a family that we can laugh with or they are dreading Christmas because of the family they have or past experiences, which in turn enhances the feeling of loneliness, an emotion that makes you feel anxious and empty inside.
I asked my followers on Instagram and Twitter: “do you feel lonely at Christmas?” The results are exactly what I expected, 69% on Instagram and 76% on Twitter do feel lonely at Christmas. Lizzie on Twitter said: “Those results are shocking”. But in all honesty I’m not shocked. It’s a feeling I endure every Christmas and I knew I wasn’t alone. It’s a topic that isn’t discussed or promoted enough, which is the reason I’m writing this post. Those who feel lonely pretend to be happy and excited for Christmas because to be honest that’s the only way to cope.
Someone who follows me on Instagram saw my poll and notified me that Comedian Sarah Millican tweeted about this very recently and created the hashtag #joinin, to get people who feel lonely around this time of year to talk, tackling the feeling of loneliness. In a strange way, it’s nice to know we’re not alone and we are the majority!
Due to my upbringing I have grown up dreading Christmas. I’m not asking for sympathy, but I want to share my story in case people reading this resonate with it. My Christmases were usually based on arguments, shouting and alcohol abuse. I was scared of Christmas. I liked the idea of it and enjoyed the thought of my family together, but in reality I used to cry in bed on Christmas night because it was a horrible day. I’m not slandering my family, because that’s the last thing I’d want to do, but they didn’t make it an enjoyable day therefore fear and anxiety kicked in in the lead up to every Christmas and in all honesty it still affects me now. I know I’m not the only one with a dysfunctional family, there is so many people out there who have different stories to tell.
Now I just feel lonely at times when it comes to Christmas, I’m the person in my family who travels around to each house trying to keep everyone else happy, but myself. There are points in the day when I’m alone and I feel sad that I am. Why can’t everyone just be together? But that’s life I suppose. The reason I share this with you is because I want you to know that you’re not alone and there is ways to occupy yourself on the big day and have an enjoyable time by yourself or with others.
I’m lucky to have a family to go to, dysfunctional or not. I’m very aware of those who don’t have family to go to at this time of year. But it’s time to stop focusing on the negatives of Christmas and make the best of it, after all we are only alive once.
In addition, this post isn’t about reflecting on feeling lonely. In fact it’s a positive one that I hope may help those who are feeling sad and emotional at the moment. To know they’re not alone and that there is ways to keep yourself occupied on the big day. It’s time to put our positive pants on and make the most of Christmas. Just think it’s 1 out of 365 days a year.
It’s ok to feel emotional around this time of year, allow yourself to feel it, but don’t dwell on it. Here’s some tips to help you feel better and more positive.
- Remember you’re not alone. There is so many of us not having the ‘perfect Christmas’ what is that anyway?
- When you feel down, think about those who may be worse or suffering more than you right now. This helps me.
- Tell yourself it is 1 day out of 365, you can get through it.
- If you don’t have family or loved ones. Make your own Christmas traditions so every year you have those to look forward to.
- Alternatively if you’re alone and you can afford it, book yourself a different place to go to every year, creating different experiences each year!
- If you’re feeling sad. Write down the things you love about life and your goals for 2018.
- Take a walk outside or go for a drive on Christmas day to get away from the madness.
- Enjoy your own company and spending time with yourself. Self love comes first!
- If you do have family, but don’t want to spend time with them. Split your time accordingly and give yourself some time to breathe in-between the day.
- If you’re too young to do some of this and you have to stay with whoever is looking after you, put on a film you love or distract yourself with something you enjoy. Put on your headphones and enjoy the moment!
- Volunteer for a charity or why not go to an old peoples home to help someone else who may be feeling lonely!
Do you feel lonely at Christmas? Comment below or feel free to direct message me on my social media channels @charlottejonsie
Thanks for reading!
Love CJ x
Coat from Jane Norman
Bag from Accessorize
Black belt from New Look
Watch from Storm
Shoes, Skirt, Jumper & Hat from Primark