The Pressures of Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone! There’s something about this time of year that’s ironically stressful, because we’re supposed to be on goddamn vacation! The gifts, the family standards, the expectation of being the happiest elf in all the land, etc. Anyway, this got me to thinking about the unnecessary things we stress over constantly. The same way that being depressed at Christmas can pull you deeper into the hole rather than springing you forward.

I’m not depressed at the moment, but I’ve found myself stuck in a spiral; dipping below the surface and back up again. The past week has been strange and not at all relieving, despite finishing the school term and sleeping for once. But the problem with this is that it’s lent me time to stress over the things I shouldn’t be.

The whole week, I had fixed in the back of my mind the fact that I couldn’t afford to buy gifts for everyone I wanted to and that I might be silently shunned for it. Or that people might be upset with me because I won’t be able to spend yet another Christmas with them, due to the fact I live on the other side of the world. Or even for being a bummer during the holidays because my I’m not smiling enough.

So I spent the last few days strolling around London aimlessly, talking to strangers, searching for the smallest hint of color or distraction. I grew anxious about my lack writing and punished myself for it mentally. Yesterday, I spent hours analyzing a friendship on paper when I should have been sleeping; because let’s face it, that would have been heaps better for my health (I’m going a bit mad). Nonetheless, I mulled over something that isn’t meant to drag me through the trenches.

And we’re supposed to be relaxing.

But then, am I resisting the actions that my feelings provoke?

Who knows.

We should stop stressing where it’s unnecessary to. It’s as if we have a responsibility to society; as if we’re living under unwritten rules. These rules aren’t actually there—nor do they exist—but we assume they are and therefore we live by them. So why do we fall into the general flow of society? Is it so bad to grind against it—are the presumed consequences that we fear real, or are we just imagining it all?

I must clarify that I don’t hate Christmas. I love Christmas, and I’m so glad to be celebrating in Norway this year because it reminds me of my younger days. The danger of it all is the high standard we expect our holidays to be. It needs to look like the adverts and it must be grand. Ideas never match reality.

We should be enjoying on Christmas.

We should be relaxing.

We should do what everyone else expects us to.

I guess my point is—don’t feel bad for feeling however you’re feeling. Don’t suppress your emotions, my friends. If you’re sad and it’s Christmas day, let yourself feel sad. Because depression usually comes when we know there are reasons why we should be happy. I know this because I’ve been there.

Let yourself feel! Give yourself permission to feel. Even if it’s sad. Relieve the pressure put on you. Drop expectations of yourself. Drop expectations of others. Christmas is meant to be joyous; don’t let that suppress anything. It is another day in your life.

And do whatever DOES make you happy. Despite the haters.



Song xx

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