Christmas is not always a merry time for everyone. There can be many Christmas struggles to contend with.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

December has now arrived and we are already surrounded by emotive Christmas adverts, street markets and dazzling decorative lights to inspire us to get into the Christmas spirit. However, Christmas is not always a merry time for everyone. For some, there can be Christmas struggles.

Frosty the Snowman!

There are so many expectations on us at this time of year to have a good time and get together with people who we may find challenging. Relationships can feel very strained and, well… frosty, and arguments can flare up which can lead to conflict and relational break- downs. When we are forced to spend more time than usual with people who don’t make us feel comfortable, it can be hard not to push down our own needs, pleasing others instead, which can cause feelings of resentment and anger that stay with us long after the decorations have come down.

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

The cost of Christmas can also be a huge pressure, especially in these times of financial hardship. All the advertising can trigger us to get into debt to pay for gifts and food to feel that we are meeting the expectations of what Christmas appears to require. We then live with the anxiety and desperation of how we will pay back the debt as well as keep up with the cost of living which is even more difficult this winter than ever before.

To Absent Friends

Christmas is also a time when we are reminded of loved ones who are no longer with us. Christmas is a time for family and feelings of grief can be very raw when we look at our own familial traditions that may feel different in the absence of people we miss and long to share this time of year with again.

Silent Night

Not all of us have others with whom to share Christmas and the loneliness of having to spend Christmas alone can feel particularly acute. Perhaps you’ve never had others to help make Christmas feel special or maybe relationships are not working at the moment and it’s necessary to spend time apart. Perhaps the ones you love have passed on and you’re trying to carry on whilst managing the grief of having lost them. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to feel lonely at Christmas and it can be a particularly sad and difficult time for those living alone.

Eat, Drink and be Merry

Lastly, for those of us living with addiction issues, the party atmosphere can make staying away from alcohol, drugs or food particularly challenging. The temptation that we try so hard to manage during the rest of the year becomes so much stronger as substances are more available and our friends and family actively encourage us to ‘not be a party pooper’ and just let our hair down. Our usual coping strategies can be undermined and resisting can be a real struggle.

Counselling can help. Having someone to talk these issues through with can help to process negative feelings and develop new coping strategies to support you through the festive season and beyond into 2023.

Please get in touch with me if you feel I can help you with any of these struggles this Christmas time.