The holiday season comes with a whole bunch of expectations that can leave us feeling overwhelmed. If large social gatherings and gift giving isn’t your thing, you’re likely feeling the pangs of anxiety at the mere thought of it right now. The thing to remember is that these seasonal expectations are just that… expectations. Not obligations. Any of these seem familiar…?
1. Large social gatherings
This time of year brings with it the impending doom of large social gatherings. For anyone with a socially anxious disposition, this is the definition of awkwardness. As the end of the year looms ever closer, so does the feeling of dread as your calendar gradually fills up with work parties, family get-togethers and holiday meals. Take a deep breath and remember that you don’t HAVE to go if you don’t want to. If you’re struggling with social anxiety, read this. It’s OK, you got this.
2. Gift giving
There is a huge culture in the western world of giving and receiving presents in the festive season. So much so, people seem to have forgotten that this time of year can also be about simply spending time (rather than money) with the people you love. So what if you don’t get your second cousin an awesome present?!? Just hang out with them instead! Remember that the holidays don’t have to be filled with grand gestures, it’s the little ones that count the most.
3. Being Christmassy
First things first: It’s OK to be a Grinch. Some people just don’t like this time of year and what’s worse, it feels like it is getting longer every year! It’s totally OK if you’re not feeling festive this year, just be thankful for the days off instead!
4. Family time
Just like large social gatherings, spending time with the immediate or extended family is tricky business. It comes with a whole set of hurdles and challenges and, let’s face it, it wouldn’t be Christmas if there weren’t any family conflicts, amiright sis?!?! If you’re worried about it this year, have a read of this for advice on dealing with family fallouts.
This time of year also brings an expectation of romance, and a sort of pity for anyone deemed ‘alone’ this Christmas… Think about it, you can probably count on one hand the popular Christmas songs that AREN’T about relationships and love and pretty much EVERY seasonal movie is a love story (Elf included). Society needs to get over its ‘single-phobia’ and embrace independence as a legit thing – it’s totally possible to be single and happy y’know!
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