If you need to take a break during the holidays, do it. (Metro Creative photo)

If you need to take a break during the holidays, do it. (Metro Creative photo)

Editorial: You can skip some holiday traditions if you’ve had enough cheer

We can take on too much, especially this time of year, leading to us barely remembering the holidays

Most of us look forward to this time of year.

Christmas carols, Christmas trees, events packed into every weekend, the lights, the food, the shopping and on and on.

But like a kid anticipating their birthday, sometimes it can become overwhelming, to the point where we find that during some of these things we’re supposed to enjoy we feel merely uncomfortable or even let down.

Sometimes we can feel obligated to try to pack in every event or tradition that we’ve ever enjoyed during the holiday season, plus the new things that look like fun. More is better, right? You’ve enjoyed these things in the past, so they should give you a warm and happy feeling again, goes the logic. You made shortbread last year, how can you possibly skip it this year?

But we can take on too much, especially this time of year, leading to us barely remembering the holidays, let alone enjoying them.

It can be really difficult, but sometimes truly celebrating the season can mean paring down your to-do list. If there are too many great things on the list, they can quickly become not so great.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed this Christmas, you’re not alone. Try just stopping for a few minutes to re-evaluate what you’ve got planned and how you’re feeling about it. If it feels more like an obligation than like fun, maybe consider crossing it off this year’s list. The world will not stop turning if you don’t put up a Christmas tree this year. There’s nothing to say you can’t do it next year instead. If you’re in the middle of one Christmas activity but your mind has already run ahead to the five activities that come next, you’re doing it wrong.

Hustle and bustle may have become synonymous with the holiday season, but you’re not required to take part if it’s not for you.

It’s also a good idea to not put pressure on those around you to enjoy Christmas, or else. This time of year can be hard for some people who may not have jolly memories, or may be struggling with their present-day circumstances. Acknowledging this and letting people feel how they feel is important. They may already feel out of step because of the constant messages about how we’re all supposed to be merry and bright. You don’t want to add to that. You may be able to help by just being willing to lend an ear.

If you need support you can find resources at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/mental-health-support-in-bc/mood-and-anxiety, and https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/mental-health-support-in-bc

Editorials