Just as Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner, so is holiday madness. As people start to prepare for the holidays with festive decorations, gifts, and bountiful food, not everyone is aware of the fact that the seemingly merry festivities hide some pretty dark stuff. Around 75% of people in the United States feel stressed, anxious, and depressed as the holidays fast approach. Just remember, all hope is not lost. If you feel as if you are slowly descending into gloomy days, we have six helpful tips on how to deal with holiday madness.
What is “holiday madness”?
Obviously, there is no single, uniform answer to this question. The meaning of “holiday madness” differs from person to person.
If you try to look at it from the point of view of someone who dreads the holidays, they may very well feel holiday madness because they do not like socializing with people, be it with loved ones or co-workers.
On another note, there are those who feel holiday madness because they feel pressured to live up to the standards set by society.
Society shows that people should be gift-giving, throwing a feast, and hosting parties for families and friends on the holidays.
Of course, not everyone can afford this kind of lavish celebration.
In turn, it makes them feel as if they are not enough if they are not able to provide such things for their families.
The holidays are indeed stressful, if not downright nerve-racking, for many of us. Whatever the reason may be behind your very own flavor of holiday madness, it is valid and you’re not alone.
How to deal with holiday madness
1. Learn to say “no”
Whether you are being called over by your parents to come over and spend the holidays with the family or you are being summoned at work to attend a Christmas party, you must learn to say no if you truly do not want to go.
Although there are benefits if you decide to go to a corporate holiday party, such as being able to network with supervisors and executives in different departments of the company, this may possibly result in work opportunities.
As for familial holiday parties, you may suggest having one big, single party instead of several small ones that would require you to travel to different cities or states.
In the end, the decision is all up to you. Whether you decide to show up or not is completely understandable.
Remember, you do not owe an explanation to anyone, especially if your mental state and wellbeing are at stake due to holiday madness.
2. Let go of the idea of perfection
Who says that the holidays should be perfect? No rulebook mandates that every home have a huge Christmas tree with a ton of presents underneath it or that a lavish meal be prepared for the family.
It would be pointless to depend your happiness on something so trivial as planning the perfect once-in-a-year holiday, especially when you try and force yourself in the process.
You would be surprised at how much happier you turn out to be once you stop fussing over the idea of planning the perfect holiday.
Sometimes, we need to see things in a different light and see beauty in the imperfect—in the chaos.
3. Being materialistic is not ideal
Another helpful tip on how to deal with holiday madness would be to stop looking at the holidays with a materialistic point of view — even if others do.
Materialism is often associated with gift-giving or, to be more accurate, with gift-receiving.
Still, the gift-giver is often put in a position of pressure to decide what fancy brand would be ideal for a gift for the picky uncle or the person who has it all.
Is it going to be Gucci? Apple? Or maybe a Louis Vuitton?
If you constantly poison your mind with this, you will most likely be consumed by the thought that expensive things equate to a person’s happiness.
What you can do instead is to think of a gift, something that is not necessarily a material thing but rather a gesture, such as late-night dates, dinner at a restaurant, or simply whipping up your own creation that holds more value than any luxury brand can ever hope to replace. And if they don’t appreciate your thoughtfulness? Not your problem.
4. A change in perspective would be recommended
If you are one of many who think that Christmas is all about gift giving, then maybe now is the time to change your perspective.
Sadly, a lot of people lack the money to afford the things their families want for Christmas.
In turn, this affects the stability of a person since they view themselves as worthless for not being able to shower their loved ones with gifts.
In order to change this pessimistic way of thinking, you can slowly change your perspective and make it align with your own set of values.
If your values view Christmas as an opportunity to solely spend time with loved ones, then go ahead and focus on that.
That way, you will notice that the next time the holidays come around, you will not feel pressured anymore since you have changed your perspective with regards to what Christmas is all about.
5. There is no harm in hiding
If the Christmas ambiance is enough to make you squeamish and suffocate internally, then the ideal thing to do is to hide.
If you have to lock your doors, shut the blinds, deactivate your social media accounts, and ignore the spontaneous calls coming from relatives and co-workers asking you to come to their holiday party, then by all means do so.
There is no shame in feeling terrible during the holidays; this is why one of the best tips on how to deal with holiday madness is by hiding.
You only have to conceal yourself from the world for a month or so, so this is doable and an ideal way to shield yourself from Christmas tidings.
6. Social media is a lie
Don’t fall into the look-at-my-happy-life trap and comparing yourself with others on social media.
It is made up of social constructs that wish to (indirectly) make people feel bad for what they do not have.
The lowkey flexes in social media begin to grow and spread around the time of the holidays, given that most people would post selfies of them beside their Christmas trees and fancy banquets.
However, not everything we see on social media exposes the truth in its entirety.
We may never know if the same person who just posted about their expensive trip to Paris to celebrate the holidays had experienced a heartbreaking loss of a loved one a few days ago.
If you’re susceptible to comparing yourself with others on social media, the holidays may be a good time to take a break.
If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or sinking into a dark mental morass during the holidays or anytime, contact a crisis intervention hotline. There’s no shame, ever, in asking for help.
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