I have always considered myself a festive person. By the time 01st December hit my Christmas wreath was up, I was writing out cards to all my friends, and I had ordered half of the presents on my list. Normally, I love everything that the holiday season comes with. I enjoy organising special moments with my friends and family, I love indulging in festive food and I could spend every night watching a holiday film.
A week later and it feels like I have done a 180. I don’t know whether it is the news of the Omicron COVID variant or whether socialising even more than normal is becoming overwhelming, but I feel numb to Christmas. The thought of going outside in this grim weather to go get my Christmas tree feels like the most unattractive thing ever, the 10 minute walk to go to the post office to send off the cards I wrote feels like such an effort. I am tired and exhausted, and what is worse, I hate feeling like this. But I know I’m not the only one.
Despite being locked down in London last year, I couldn’t have felt the opposite. My partner and I had our first Christmas together and it was one of the most exciting years I’ve ever had. Not having to navigate family politics or travel around the UK living out of a suitcase, it felt like such a novelty and a special moment.
When I look back on the past two years, we have all been on a rollercoaster of emotions. Generally I feel like I got through everything pretty much unscathed. I continued to enjoy work, my family are fortunately all healthy, my relationship went from strength to strength, and I focused on my health and wellbeing. Like everyone I had tough days, but they were few and far between. It is almost like I’ve hit a wall.
With the festivities approaching, it has been easy to ignore what is going on inside. The past two years has made us set and stick to stringent routines and the increased socialising over the holidays has thrown mine completely out of whack. I feel like I am stuck in limbo between a normal social life combined with still working from home, occasionally going into the office, and not to mention that constant voice in my head ‘if I go out will I give my family COVID?’ The news is constantly contradicting itself with what we should and shouldn’t be doing – part of me wants to go out everyday to make the most of it in case we go into another dreaded lockdown, but the other half? She wants to sit inside in the comfort of her own home.
All we can do is take note of how we are feeling and focus on what is best for ourselves, and this year we should look to set more boundaries than ever, even if it feels unusual to over the holiday season. I’ve really lacked focusing on myself the past couple of months so my aim from this week onwards is to set aside time to do something for myself each day. Whether it is to do a yoga class, go for a run, paint my nails, write, read – and of course watch The Holiday to try and get me away from my ‘Grinch-ness’.