The holiday season can be very difficult for people with mental illness. Depression and anxiety can be triggered and it is hard to deal with all the happy people who are excited about the holiday planning.
You have to take care of yourself. Don’t feel guilty to say “no” to things if it is too much for you. Everyone may not understand and some people will react to you by trying to make you feel shame or guilt.
People who try to guilt you into doing things are not the people who are the best people for you to be around, especially during the holidays. If you realize that the worst that will happen by saying no is that they will “react” to you, then you can endure that.
People that try to get emotional reactions out of you are just manipulators. They are not on your side and doing things just to avoid disappointing them is not necessary.
Unfortunately there are those people who will do more that just try to evoke an emotional reaction out of us. Some people will take more steps to make our lives miserable when we do not do what they ask.
If you are dealing with someone like this then you are in a very difficult situation. Just try to minimize the amount of things you do for them and avoid what you can.
Take breaks for yourselves and do things just because you like to do them. You can take yourself to the movies or to the local diner for hot chocolate. You can take a Netflix break and watch a funny movie or tv show.
A warm shower or bath can be very relaxing and no one can disturb you. Find ways to help yourself to feel calm and to feel like you matter. You can make your own traditions for the holidays and forget about what you “always do.”
Doing things the same way every year is not a rule, it is just a habit. If you would be happier making changes to your usual holiday routine then do so. There is no rule that you have to be miserable or that you have to spend all your time making everyone else happy.
People get extreme stress during the holidays because they are trying to live up to other people’s expectations or even their own expectations. Set you bar lower, so that you will not expect things to be a certain way.
Truthfully these are just days like any other days. Society and your family has done the job of putting expectations on you. Keep in mind that a lot of it has to do with the commercial companies wanting to make money. It is a lot of hype that you are not obligated to fall into.
The holidays should be about peace and serenity. They should be a time to calm, rest and spiritual connection. Find your peace during this season however it is the most meaningful to you.