Christmas is a little relationship audit
Christmas is a time for us when we are often subject to anxiety and fear. We strive for perfect holidays and often put ourselves under pressure that causes unwanted feelings in us.
What effect does the pre-Christmas commercial pressure, which the media has been inundating us with since the beginning of November, have on people?
Many people no longer talk about Christmas as a traditional holiday, but as an orgy of overeating, consumption and false emotions. Christmas is a ritual that reflects the current state of society and that is why commercial pressure is increasingly seeping into the holidays. The original meaning of Christmas was associated with the time of family, joy and peace. However, nowadays it turns into an opportunity to give gifts. We live in a polarized society, where on the one hand we encounter values such as tradition, responsibility, faith and family, but on the other hand self-indulgence, quick achievement of goals and the desire for reward. People become consumers and the need to spend valuable time together takes a back seat.
Why are we so prone to succumb to the offered, but perhaps unrealistic, perfection that is presented to us in magazines, on social networks, on TV, etc.
As humans, we are part of a larger community or society. And one of our basic needs is the need for belonging and therefore also for a certain conformity. We want to fit into the community of people and become part of something. Metaphorically, we can call it "we want to be part of the pack". We compare ourselves with other people, and thanks to social networks or the media, we don't realize that we only get a certain slice of reality from the lives of others. Few people publish negative events from their life on social networks. We don't share moments that are burdensome for us. By doing so, we distort reality for the environment and create the illusion that the world is perfect. At the same time, we are unable to work effectively with criticism and tend to submit to it to avoid disappointment or failure.
What does it do to our psyche? Which factors influence her the most before the holidays?
Christmas is an emotionally stressful time for some people, and that is why the number of heart failures and somatic problems increases at this time. Excessive overeating, lack of exercise, stress and emotional burden are not only related to our physical but also mental health. Among the basic factors that affect our ability to manage stress are the degree of tension experienced and the ability to identify it, appropriated and adopted conflict management strategies, or social support and network, which are a supportive part of our lives.
Is there any way to avoid the stress associated with the pre-Christmas rush?
It may sound unbelievable, but the magic of Christmas really exists. According to research, traditional people have a more developed part of the brain associated with spirituality and sensory perception. We can also define several activities that we can connect with Christmas and at the same time can help us feel better. Just spending money and buying gifts for others makes us happier. Another activity is singing together. Singing in a community (whether family, religious or friendly) helps reduce stress and improves the quality of social bonds. Thanks to singing together, the production of hormones in our body changes, which reduces tension and at the same time strengthens relationships with the people with whom we sing together. Despite the Christmas rush, I recommend following a daily routine and planning the time and activities you want to do. I recommend setting it up so that
What mistakes do we make when we want to create the perfect Christmas?
During Christmas, cracks suddenly appear in our relationships, which we try to avoid during our daily routine. Christmas is a time when most people spend with their family and then have no time to avoid unresolved complications or unsaid topics. Christmas is a small relationship audit, when we find out how our family and friends cooperate with each other and we find out what state we are in. It is on Viaoc that we find out who we want to spend this time with and who we don't. A common mistake that people make during this period is insincerity and expectations. Under the pressure of society and the environment, we try to present perfect relationships that none of us have. At the same time, we strive for favor and sympathy by giving gifts to others. The emotional game for the perfect gift is also a burdensome test of relationships, which is full of expectations. And the last part of Christmas, which brings many conflicts are precisely the traditions and conventions that we have just as diverse and we are not willing to give up or adapt them. These many situations are often hurtful to us and lead us to think about the meaning of our relationships.
Is the help of psychologists sought by people more often before the holidays?
Yes. The pre-Christmas period is a time when a larger number of people turn to psychologists. The main situations we encounter during this period are loneliness, excessive anxiety and stress, emotional exhaustion, or the need for closeness, especially if people live in dysfunctional relationships.
What problems can stress lead to?
Christmas is accompanied by various stress factors such as alcohol, sleep disorders, anxiety or a death in the family. At the same time, we should realize that Christmas becomes a period of increased financial burden and family conflicts. We also encounter negative emotions such as disappointment, anxiety, sadness, depression, or thoughts of suicide.
What would you say to our readers at the end of the topic?
Stay physically active, don't isolate yourself from people, limit your alcohol consumption, and be aware that family and relationship dynamics can be affected by time off and the pressures that come with the fictional idea of the perfect holiday. Their perfection is determined by ourselves and not by the external environment. Seek professional help if necessary.
The questions were the basis for the article published for the Terajšok editorial office (more details: https://terajsok.sk/2022/12/23/ako-zvladnut-sviatky-bez-stresu/).
PhDr. Ivana Čergeťová, PhD., LL.M., MBA, PCIC
I am a psychologist, NLP coach, attachment-based therapist, career counselor, and academic staff. I have been dedicated to the attachment theory in personal and work settings for over 20 years. I work on this topic not only as a counselor but also as a researcher. Meeting with me can help you if you are seeking an expert in mental health specializing in relationships, communication, and personal development. For more information, follow my social networks @radipsychologicka #attachment #relationships #love #attachment #JoinMeForAdvice #relationshiptherapist #development