I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Christmas is all around us and so the feeling grows...
or maybe not?
Covid and the government's ever shifting rules on Christmas gatherings have left many of us feeling deflated and dare I say, a bit defeated?
Christmas at the best of times can be fraught with difficult reminders of those we've loved and lost.
After the year we've had, even the Christmas fanatics among us might be finding it hard to muster up some Christmas spirit.
How do you find your sparkle when you've tried all the usual festive tricks?
Read on for a few ideas to try.
Release the Pressure
There's so much pressure and expectation around making Christmas perfect and that's even without throwing feeling festive into the mix. Give yourself a break. Just acknowledging that some years will feel a bit flat, takes us a step closer towards feeling better.
Could 2020 be the year to redefine what Christmas means to you? Write a list of the elements of Christmas that you love, and the bits you wish you could get rid of. How can you tailor your Christmas to fit you better? Can you start some new traditions?
Get your hygge on
Once you have some things on your list you'd like to incorporate into your Christmas, create an itinerary of cosy activities based on your list.
Let's say you love making Christmas wreaths. Decide on a time you're going to make it.
Now, let's hygge up around it.
Could you make a Christmas playlist to listen to, whilst making it?
Could you bake some Christmas nibbles to snack on as you make your wreath?
Could you go for a Christmas nature walk and forage for festive bits and bobs to adorn your wreath?
Could you do a wreath-along via Skype/Zoom with friends or family?
Nostalgia always helps me to stoke those festive feelings. I love re-watching Delia Smith's Christmas cookery series and David Suchet's Poirot.
I also have certain traditions I like to follow each year. Every Christmas, I love to curl up with a blanket and read vintage detective fiction. Hercule Poirot's Christmas is always first on the list, then I try to find a different cosy crime novel to add to the collection.
Christmas is also the only time of year I eat mint Matchmakers.
Replay some of your favourite Christmas memories - which nostalgic favourites have you got?
The Season of Giving
Beneath all the festive trimmings, traditions and decorations, gratitude and goodwill are at the heart of it all. A secret act of kindness is a way to jump-start those festive feels.
If all else fails...
Find the Pockets of Cosy
If loss has made it difficult to find gratitude in anything, try to start out small by finding the pockets of cosy in each day.
This could be as simple as a cup of tea outside or by the window, listening to a podcast in the bath, a walk in the woods or making your favourite childhood meal. By appreciating small, simple moments of happiness in the darkness, you can somehow find hope and your way back home to yourself.
Coping with Infertility at Christmas
Christmas is also particularly triggering time you're struggling to have a family.
I first read The Little Book of Hygge on the lead up to Christmas, whilst struggling with infertility. It's really difficult to cope with the longing for child during a time so intertwined with children.
If this is something you're going through, this video might help.
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Hygge for the Soul: 5 Ways to Nourish an Anxious Mind
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