The holidays are just around the corner. Most of us are happy: New Year’s – resetting all counters, resetting to zero, a week of vacation, in the end. It is also an opportunity to rejoice and have fun, which is very important in such a difficult time. True, even the beloved New Year and no less beloved Christmas can bring unpleasant surprises: according to statistics, in the days after the holidays, the number of patients’ requests for antidepressants literally skyrockets. What is the reason? Finding out how to survive the holiday marathon and maintain physical and mental health.
In our family, the fuss always began two and a half months before the cherished night and stopped only in the spring. And it is still like this: in mid-October, numerous relatives celebrate my mother’s birthday, then mine, after which comes the Catholic Christmas Eve, which for some reason we very much celebrate. Then New Year itself, then Christmas, Old New Year. At the end of January, grandfather and brother are “born”, at the beginning of February – dad and grandmother, then parents celebrate their wedding day, then grandmother’s name day, then February 23, March 8 … In a word, since childhood I know what a “festive race” is. In the kindergarten, I did not stop sculpting, glueing and drawing crafts, at home – learning poems and songs, so that on the appointed day and hour I could stand on a stool and please the hero of the occasion, play the Snow Maiden or a squirrel. It seemed to me that we live in some kind of endless series of important events.
What’s wrong with that, you might ask? The fact that the existence in the mode of a permanent holiday somehow influenced me, I myself learned closer to thirty. Before that, I somehow internally tensed closer to the fall, then on New Year’s Eve there was a peak of anxiety, all winter I was in a state of stress, returning to my usual tone and working capacity closer to the warm season. Then it seemed that the cold, short days, long nights were to blame … And once I took and “scored” at family celebrations. I congratulated my mother, but ignored my birthday, met the New Year in pajamas, never went out to hang out with friends during the holidays. In a word, I somehow, on a whim, reshaped the usual scenario and – lo and behold! – in mid-February, when everyone suffers from beriberi and colds,
Later I came across the concept of too much partying (translated from English “too many parties”). It turns out that there can be “a lot” of stormy fun, ecstasy, and endless holiday. This “a lot” affects the state of our nervous system, preventing us from truly enjoying the long-awaited solemn events. It turns out, in vain we regret that the birthday (like other important dates) “only once a year”?
However, the “red days of the calendar” become a source of neuroses not only for those who at one time were overjoyed. Have you ever thought that it is sad for lonely people to celebrate special events by themselves, while family ones are next to their loved ones. However, for families, important dates become a duty, when, instead of enjoying themselves, responsibilities fall on the shoulders of preparing the table, entertaining guests, cleaning … In a word, everyone has their own story that can darken the bright joy and anticipation of a miracle. How to act so as not to lose yourself and maintain the ability to be surprised
and have fun?
When is it time to stop?
– If, instead of joyful anticipation, you feel as if a thundercloud is approaching you, and the upcoming chores cause not pleasant excitement, but anxiety, then the upcoming holidays will be a test for you. Maybe this year it makes sense to skip the traditional fun and listen to yourself?
– If you can only think about how the New Year’s Eve will go, spend days and weeks choosing an outfit and accessories for an upcoming party, picking up your makeup and hairstyle in a few months , rushing into family and friends who “don’t act according to plan “. The feeling of excessive lifting, the nervous anticipation of the X-hour, when you can finally rejoice, indicates that you suffer from a symptom of a delayed life and do not know how to rejoice in it in the moment, here and now.
– If you just do not want a celebration, if there is no mood, strength and desire, that’s okay! The world won’t collapse if you stop chasing the endless fun that everyone, without exception, should experience on New Year’s Eve. Believe me, there will be no better time than the pre-holiday season to give yourself the most important gift – the opportunity to give up all “must” and do as you want.
Each of us can be caught in “holiday captivity” when, for some reason, instead of the expected joy and fun, we are captured by nostalgia, sadness, longing and despondency. And even if the event itself took place at the proper level, after it you may feel disappointment, sadness, depression.
Let’s start with the fact that it is often simply indecent to be depressed in the “high season” or ignore the holidays in our country. You can skip the “fun hour” only for a good reason, otherwise you will not be understood.
But you must admit that it is a great responsibility to prepare in such a way that on the appointed day nothing will disturb, annoy, or tire you. We, determined to spend the night from December 31 to January 1 so that the whole next year will be successful, we feel tremendous pressure from both the media and from our relatives and friends.
My friend Rita every year frenziedly prepared for the winter celebrations. She began to choose gifts a month before the New Year, carefully and methodically studying the Internet, every day after work, going to shopping centers and boutiques in search of the perfect gifts. The whole family was forced to create handicrafts and trinkets, which then decorated the apartment. A week before the “X-hour” she carried out a general cleaning, decorated the Christmas tree, which she decorated with author’s (of her own composition, of course) toys. The day before the holiday, she began to prepare a table, which consisted of ten dishes, no less. Two versions of jellied meat, three versions of Olivier (including the original one with crayfish tails), homemade pickles, hot … Closer to the chimes, Margarita spent five minutes for herself: ran into the shower, hastily washed her hair, dressed up in a dress (always in the colors of the coming of the year). After the satisfied guests and a little tired family members clinked glasses with glasses and started eating, the friend sat in a chair and fell asleep in it until morning. At the dawn of a new day of the new year, Rita was already standing at the sink and washing mountains of dishes. I visited her two or three times and each time I saw the same picture. To the question: “Why?” – She threw up her hands in surprise: “Well, it’s accepted … It’s a holiday.”
The same story unfolded in our family. First, my grandmother, then my mother were the locomotives that pulled us on their shoulders on New Year’s, not allowing us to exhale until midnight. And when one day these responsibilities fell on my shoulders, I simply “harnessed” by inertia. And she thought. Is this how I want to celebrate? Do I need all this fun: hours of cooking, family members scurrying around who do not listen to my instructions, meat burning in the oven, champagne that has been poorly cooled … I have a completely different idea of a holiday.
Indeed, as we grow up, the magic often dissipates. It becomes clear that perfect order, delicious food, a sparkling Christmas tree and long-awaited gifts under it are not just attributes of the celebration, but tasks that need to be solved. And now, instead of the child’s expectation of a miracle, we feel the burden of responsibility, the holidays turn into a duty.
To avoid this, it is important for you to understand that this is a real holiday for you. Brush aside traditions and habits that were passed on to you by older relatives. They are important and valuable, but should not replace your true motivation. Try to figure out how you would like to spend this day. What would be a gift for you? What would bring joy, calmness, satisfaction? Be prepared for the fact that the first solemn events you will simply … ignore. This is natural: you need to take a break to sort out your desires.
I acted “by contradiction”: I made a list of what I would definitely not do before the New Year and during the holidays. It turned out to be quite impressive. The only thing left was to get into bed, taking with me a purchased Olivier (cooking was in my “stop-list”), watch TV shows and sleep. I did just that. Having bought myself a nice and cozy pajamas, having laid on new underwear, I went to bed with my favorite TV show and did not get up all evening. Perhaps I can call that holiday one of the best in my life. However, the next year I wanted to go on a visit – and I followed my wishes. And then an important insight came to me: a holiday is when you can afford to do what you want.
From day to day
What if you always celebrate all the special events the way you want it, but each time you leave this season exhausted? Psychologists, as always, provide comprehensive comments. It turns out that a slight longing for fireworks, chimes, past birthdays and other significant events (if they passed, of course, the way you wanted) is our natural state. We live in a world of comparisons, constantly juxtaposing weekdays to weekends, vacations to work marathons, days to nights, finally. If you remember the past party and dream of continuing the banquet, but at the same time continue to live in reality, accepting and enjoying the present moment, this is understandable and normal. But if weeks and months pass in a fog while you are waiting for “X-day”, this is already a reason to think.
Psychotherapists are faced with this phenomenon very often: many of their clients do not live a full life between important events, but only exist from Friday to Friday, when once again they can arrange a fun evening with friends or go to the party of the year. After the New Year has died down, they begin to wait for Christmas, then freeze in anticipation of February 23 … The key word here is “freeze”. The problem with people who love the holidays too much is that they are not able to find joyful moments in the gray everyday life. But there are much more of these very everyday life in our life! And what comes out? That we miss so many ordinary days, as if blocking the ability to have fun until the next celebration.
It is not surprising that those who suffer from the syndrome of too much partying I have already mentioned are painfully faced with reality. They seem to be in a prolonged hangover, which can only be removed by the next dose of the holiday.
If you notice such a state in yourself, it is important to return yourself to the present and learn to be with yourself and those around you here and now. It can be very difficult at first, even painful. You may be overcome by boredom and apathy, indifference to work and friends. I remember how my acquaintance, an inveterate party-goer Vlad, realized that his whole life is continuous “parties”, as he put it, and dull, foggy days between them,We met after the first wave of the pandemic subsided. Vlad was cheerful and cheerful, he sounded as if he had just returned from guests or celebrated his birthday.
My friend, without realizing it, used a working method that pulls people yearning for fun out of that joyless “pit”. He’s simple and brilliant. Its essence is that, without waiting for official reasons, prescribed weekends or important dates, please yourself just like that, from day to day. Inspired by the story of a friend, I decided to experiment. For a month, “just like that” I ordered myself a delicious dinner from restaurants, bought nice little things, allowed myself to lie in a bubble bath … And you know what? New Year’s Eve neurosis (the one about “I won’t have time, I won’t be able to prepare the table, I’ll make a mistake with the gifts, everything’s gone!
Psychologists note that the ability to spend holidays in such a way as to leave them refreshed, refreshed, full of joy and strength to live and act is one of the signs of a person’s maturity. Throw away all your previous ideas about what should be New Year’s Eve and subsequent holidays. Take a look around and enjoy what is happening here and now! Enjoy the bustle and preparation of those around you, remembering to listen and hear yourself. And, of course, with the coming you!