Apparently ‘tis the season to be jolly. I’m not sure if I believe it myself. I think ‘tis the season to think you’re supposed to feel jolly, and perhaps even act like you are jolly, but that’s not quite the same thing at all.
The thing about this time of year is there seems to be lots of pressure to feel festive, have fun, go large etc. What if you’re not doing any of those things. Does that make you a bit strange or weird or boring? Not in my book it doesn’t. Because, I happen to know that many many people out there will be feeling just the same as you. It’s not like feelings are something we can turn on (or off) at will.
One of the things that often happens with feelings is that we feel bad (down/anxious/upset/sad/angry etc). And that isn’t very nice. But then, we start to feel bad about feeling bad – I shouldn’t feel this cross about that or I’m rubbish for feeling sad, it’s Christmas time etc. So, we now have a double dose of ‘bad’ to carry around with us.
One thing we can do for ourselves is not beat ourselves up about the feelings we are having. This isn’t always easy – especially when we’re bombarded with messages about how we should feel at this time of the year. But take it from me. There is no way you should feel, only the way you do feel.
And, even if we’re not feeling bad, we may just feel a bit ‘meh’. Perhaps not seasonal or jolly at all. That’s ok too. And if we’re feeling jolly or full of seasonal cheer then that’s ok too.
What we can do for ourselves is noticing and naming how we’re feeling and sitting with that. Not expecting some wonder to happen to our mood in the next 19 days, just accepting that we feel the way we do. It doesn’t sound like much but actually it’s a vital step in helping ourselves manage when life feels tough.
Jollity or no Jollity. You are good enough. Your feelings, whatever they are, are good enough. You are enough.