Only a few days left before Christmas! For some people it is a wonderful time, but for others it can be very stressful and it can make you feel unhappy. It might have something to do with an earlier event, like death of a loved one or money problems. But you can also experience it as unpleasant when you are not in the right frame of mind. You ‘have’ to have a nice time, spend the whole day with your family and some have to buy an overwhelming amount of presents. It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but is it really?

The foregoing panic

I am very fond of Christmas. The lights bring me happiness, I enjoy the Christmas music and I look forward to spend time with my family.  But when I had my burnout my feelings about Christmas were different. The whole day with my family, but l the thought alone made me panic. Slowly falling asleep on the couch or spend the evening in the kitchen to cook? I was just not up to it.

Besides, I did not have the money to buy presents for everyone like I did it every year. How could I come without presents now?

Lovely family

Luckily, my family supports me, in everything. I spoke with my family a few weeks before Christmas. I told them I could not afford Christmas this year. I felt terrible, but I knew I had to do it. It would be even worse if I had to come without any presents on Christmas Day. I also wanted to make clear that I would probably not be there the whole day. My goal was dinner, the time I could spend longer would be a bonus.

My family responded so great! They were all very understanding. At my moms we decided to completely stop giving presents, also for the years ahead. And at my dads I was not aloud to buy presents, but I had to accept receiving them.

A load has been lifted

Telling my parents about my situation gave me so much rest. I even started to look forward to Christmas again! I asked so much of myself, tried so hard to be there as long as possible, but I was slowly getting better in listening to myself. And the same applies for this year. There is so much to do again, for example I am still getting used to the combination of school and work. However, my partner and I are going to have a nice Christmas. We are going to dine with my parents in law, and have a nice dinner at both my mom and my dad. So I am really looking forward to it again (actually setting up the Christmas tree right now)!

What if you cannot deal with it yet?

There will probably be people reading my blog, who do not have energy to get through the day yet, or cannot handle the pressure of family. My advice is to be honest about it! I will be the last person saying that everybody responds like my family did. I know a lot of people feel like celebrating Christmas with your family is a ‘must’. However, make sure you get enough rest, take care of yourself. Do you want to spend Christmas with your partner and pizza or sushi on the couch? Do it! There will be plenty of days you can be with your family, without stress and obligations.

However I still want share a Christmas song: Train- Shake up Christmas. This song makes me so happy!

Love, Renée x

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Renée

Expert in PTSD, burnout, personality disorders and eating disorder. Even if I only help one person by sharing my story, I am happy!

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