Christmas Is Approaching: Are We Obliged To Be Happy?

Are we obliged to be happy at Christmas?

Every year it arrives earlier. Lights, advertisements for perfumes, toys, people who seem very happy, etc. But… Are we really obliged to enter into this current of consumerist good vibes if deep down we don’t feel good? The answer is no.

Nor is it a question of becoming the Grinch, that character who hated Christmas with all his soul… but we have the right to listen to each other and act accordingly.

There are many reasons why we may feel rejection of these holidays. Because of the absence of a loved one, because you have to work, because you are far from home, because you simply do not agree with what they want to sell us as “Christmas”. None of this is a serious problem in itself, but Combined with social pressure, it can plunge us into a mild depressive state..

Tips to spend an emotionally healthy Christmas

It is clear that the simple fact that Christmas exists does not mean that we have to live these dates feeling at the peak of happiness. At the same time, it is also evident that We cannot feed our frustrations because we are far from the ideal “Christmas spirit.”. Virtue lies in balance, as always; The only thing that happens is that in this holiday there are many traditional and cultural elements with a strong emotional charge: family dinners, toasts for those who are not there, gifts…

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Below we will see some tips to spend Christmas in the best way:

1. Don’t feel obligated to participate in events

If there are things that you really don’t want at all but there is a certain social pressure that pushes you to do them, cut it short: cancel out the effects of that social pressure assertively communicating to others why you do not want to participate in certain things. If you do it in a way that makes your point of view clear, they will most likely understand it, especially if during the rest of the year you tend to be a person who enjoys participating in comparable social events.

Of course, in the case of family events, keep in mind that these have a special symbolic charge and that in the most important events your absence can be interpreted as a sign that something is not going well. The degree to which you manage to “become independent” of these traditions depends on your communication skills.

2. Give yourself a gift

It never hurts to take advantage of the Christmas days to give yourself a small gift, since during these times there are many new items that go on sale. It is a way to turn one of the ideas of Christmas on its head; Instead of entering into the logic of the gift competition, you invest in a reminder that your well-being and self-esteem matter too.

As long as you don’t fall into a spiral of consumerism and keep your attention focused on the goal of treating yourself, everything will be fine. The more personal and meaningful a self-gift is to you, the easier it will be to put aside the obsession with buying for the simple fact of buying.

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3. Share your time with your loved ones, if you wish, to the extent that you please, and you can

Another useful tip to make Christmas yours and prevent it from dominating you is to create your own calendar of events and encourage your loved ones to participate in them. For example, if at Christmas you tend to have more work than normal, propose a dinner with your closest friends in one of the following weeks as an alternative to meeting on a Friday when you will be up until dinner time filling out documents.

4. Have a nice memory for those who are missing

Take the opportunity to remember loved ones who are no longer here, since you will probably have memories of Christmases past with them. But If that makes you feel bad, don’t force yourself to do it.; Everything must happen in its time.

5. Don’t be grumpy

If you waste too much energy expressing your frustration with the concept of Christmas, you will only make it more important in your life, just not in the way you would like. Each complaint will be reinforcing the small ritual of making clear your dislike for these dates, which at the same time will keep you in that discomfort.

Furthermore, if your problem is that you are frustrated to see that others are not against Christmas, this type of complaint will hardly convince someone who has been enjoying this holiday all their life: arguments hardly overcome emotions.

6. And remember, January 7th is just around the corner

Christmas is nothing more than a set of days; If we broaden the focus, we will see that technically they are just another time of the year, like any other. It is perfectly possible that at the end of Twelfth Night we have gone through these festivities without hardly noticing it. if we have chosen not to engage in tradition. In any case, it is important not to lose sight of the brevity of Christmas and its symbolic and cultural nature.

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Do you need professional help?

If you have a problem with these dates because they make you feel bad, you should know that psychologists are trained to deal with the majority of emotional problems that arise, especially these days. If you are interested in knowing how we work at Despertares Psicologías, click here to see the contact details of our psychotherapy center in Madrid. We are also in Móstoles, Getafe and Leganés.