Christmas is almost here and I’m nowhere near it!

Füzes Nóra | psychologist, junior consultant

Füzes Nóra | psychologist, junior consultant

Is frustration and stress necessary before the holidays?

While for many people Christmas means a cinnamon-apple scented candle, for a significant percentage of society it means endless rush and frustration. Let’s take a deeper look at how one of the most beautiful and mystical holidays of the year has made it to the top of the stress list. 

With mass obesity, anxiety-ridden mental conditions and diabetes becoming (sadly!) a widespread disease, no one is paying attention any more. But what about the mind-boggling stress of preparing for the holidays? Whether it’s Christmas or a birthday, over-preparing for the holidays leads to increased stress and frustration in most cases. Most of us are probably familiar with the pre-Christmas dread of cooking, cleaning, packing, shopping, end of year shopping, decorating and trying to fit in in every way, which is almost impossible to cope with. But who is really forcing us?

The problem is not the need to tidy up or the desire to make the holiday more intimate, but unrealistic, mostly unfulfillable expectations of ourselves and the environment, not helped by media messages calling for consumerism, shop windows overflowing with Christmas products and sometimes invalidated family habits.

In the old days, it was not a question of turning a chaotic, dust-covered apartment into a palace on duck legs, but of making a clean room even cleaner, which shortened the process somewhat. In addition, the tree was typically decorated with red apples and ribbons, which today would seem almost portly compared to the glittering, flashing, smiling ornaments.

Since János Selye, one of the foremost experts on stress research, we have known that the desire to meet excessive expectations and the inability to do so is not only the cause but also the perpetuator of stress. We have already read and heard a lot about this, so I will not add to the reading time with all this, although it seems that perhaps the warning is still not enough, because even though the words “If you don’t do something about stress, you will get sick” are coming out of the tap, we do not take them seriously enough, even though an overstressed Christmas period costs us not only our wallets, but also our nervous system and our overall physical and mental well-being.

Stress and the difficulties of coping with it can be the cause of a wide range of ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, mental problems, sexual problems, etc… And that’s not even mentioning the Christmas binge and the agony of the extra pounds we put on, after which we usually vow “I won’t eat from tomorrow”. But seriously, who benefits from that?

It’s up to each person to decide what Advent season and preparation they choose for themselves and those around them, but there is one question you should ask yourself: Is it really good for me?

Have a blessed Advent season Everyone!