Although Christmas is meant to be a season of joy and wonderment, this time of the year can be a very stressful and depressing time for many. There are financial and time pressures, isolation, bereavement, family tensions and many other stresses associated with life in general.
As we all know, the cost of everything has skyrocketed to the extent it is hard to even buy the basic necessities of life on a regular basis. At Christmas these expenses are exacerbated and can make the pressure of shopping and expectations extremely stressful.
There are a number of things a person can do now to help alleviate the problem to an extent:
- Budget for Christmas by stashing a bit of moola away throughout the year so the strain on the budget at Christmas won’t be so hard to take. Also stick to your shopping list.
- Discuss your Christmas plans with your family so that everyone knows the challenges and budget realistically.
- Get an early jump on your Christmas shopping by starting early. Some even like to start with the post-Christmas sales and then work their way through the year with their Christmas gift-giving list.
- Shopping online eases the stress of dealing with large crowds of shoppers or even the weather
- Plan your Christmas meals to be a simpler version – maybe a buffet; maybe those coming could bring a specific food item. Plan to focus more on the quality of the get-together and not so much on the extravagance.
- Not everything you give at Christmas has to cost money…you can give your time to maybe those that live in isolation or in a senior home.
Christmas can be the loneliest season of the year where some people may find themselves alone or isolated. Remember to include them by keeping in contact through phone calls, visits to their place of residence or even by mail. There are many that still enjoy getting a card or letter in the mail.
If you find yourself alone, maybe share some love by volunteering for charity work. All charities need an extra helping hand at this time of the year; the need is so great.
Here in Moose Jaw, we have opportunities to attend the Rotary carol festivals, take a drive through the Wakamow Valley of Lights, enjoy a musical production or visit a seniors’ home to bring some cheer.
Christmas can also be very demanding on individuals who are busier at this time of the year in retail, restaurants, and businesses that other businesses depend on to fill their Christmas orders. The stress on the individuals often causes them to be an ‘all-around Grinch’, even if their heart isn’t really that way normally. If you are a spouse or friend, try and lighten the load for them by not adding any more stress or to-do’s to their list of responsibilities so they can focus on the task at hand. Maybe when Christmas rolls around they will be content that they accomplished their goals and will have time to share in taking some time for themselves or others.
Christmas will come and go, and the spirit of the season will live on no matter what.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.