Christmas is a time for peace, joy,
love and everything that's good and gravy. But as soon as those
sleigh bells start ringing, why does the anxiety join in - year
Joy becomes panic. Love becomes
angst and resentment. Peace becomes that unresting fear in the
morning - feeding thoughts you haven't done enough, prepared enough
or manufactured the dream winter wonderland of how you think things
I don't know about you, but my
mental health suffers the worst at Christmas time - despite more
endless family visits and happy times, my anxiety picks up speed
and I'm left shaking under the weight with a holiday
With just five days to go, I'm
feeling it - snappy, irritable and snowed under with a hundred and
Christmas cheer becomes a Christmas
fear. People rush a little faster, act a little meaner, and pile on
the pressure for a perfect white Christmas. But why is Christmas
all mouth, and no action? All toys, no joy? All this anxiety under
the Christmas tree?
Visions in films, adverts and
Facebook of how Christmas "should be" leads us to strive for
unrealistic perfectionism. It really does. I think this can breed
anxiety if we look at it in this way. And it's so hard not
Excitement also comes with a kind of
In one day last week, I experienced
and saw this in the outside world - faced angry drivers on the
streets, impatient shoppers in the mall and panic in my own mind as
I felt myself obsessing over the minutest details.
After dropping my scarf in a crowded
shop while juggling a handful of one too many bags - I am saddened
to say that not one passing person offered a hand to help as a
struggled. Instead I was met with tuts, my scarf was kicked to the
side and I became just another person in the way.
This is not something new or
shocking to you, I'm sure. I've even written about this further in
a blog for the Mental Health Charity, Mind.
It's sad this is so. But it can be
changed by each of us.
I think we need to break this
set-vision of how Christmas should be into pieces. And manifest our
This year, breathe. Concentrate on
what really matters - on what you are grateful for. To have love
and food on the table, friends and family around
Let's concentrate our energies more
on the hearts that the handbags.
Show a stranger a smile, help
someone carry their shopping up the stairs, give without
And forget perfect. Done is as good
as! Trust me.
You forgot gravy? That's ok. You
still have your family by your side. They were out of stock of that
one killer present? Let it go and know you are not a disappointment
because of it - but a wonderful, kind and beautiful person for
trying to make someone else happy.
Reframe your Christmas and make it
yours again. And just know that enjoying the moment, being present
and soaking in the wonder of what's around you brings back the
meaning - and the magic of Christmas. I believe the peace and pure
essence of Christmas really showcases the brilliantly best in all
On New Year's Day, I am so excited
to bring you The Spilt Milk Club. After realising how helpful
writing this, and creative expression and outpourings have been for
my own mental health - I have felt called to follow on my monthly
DIVA column into a creative and collaborative mental health space
to people to "spill" their thoughts, feelings, anxieties, art,
cartoons, music, and more.
If you have any of the kind you'd
like to share out there in our friendly space - please email me on
See you LIVE on 1
I wish you all a very happy and
More like this
Spilt Milk: The Sad Clown
Spilt Milk: Off days are OK!
Spilt Milk: Lonely at the Party: Social Anxiety and
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