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Merry Fucking Christmas: A Mindfulness Perspective


It's the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it?

Welcome to the Healthy Illness podcast.


In this episode, we'll explore the complex relationship many of us have with the holiday season, particularly Christmas.




As someone who lives with mental health conditions, I understand the challenges that can arise during this time. But I also believe that we can build healthier relationships and find peace amidst the chaos. So, let's dive in.




The Complicated Relationship with Christmas

For many of us, Christmas brings up a mix of emotions. Some of us have fond memories of childhood Christmases, while others may have experienced disappointment or trauma during this time. Personally, I don't have many memories of my own childhood Christmases, but I know from my mother that it was a difficult time for her. I was never the "ba humbug" kind of kid, but I just never connected with the holiday.


As a young parent, I struggled to provide the type of Christmas I wanted for my children due to financial constraints. But even beyond that, I have deeper issues with the holiday itself. As a Christian, I don't believe that Christmas is truly about the birth of Christ. And even if it were, I don't believe we should go into debt and give gifts in the name of a mythical being called Santa Claus.

The commercialization and pressure to give extravagant gifts can be overwhelming.

The Pressure to Perform

We live in a society that places a lot of emphasis on material possessions and the idea of "keeping up with the Joneses." Christmas has become a time when parents feel the need to go above and beyond to make their children's Christmas the best ever. But what happens when the children don't appreciate the effort or when the gifts don't live up to expectations?



There's also the pressure to create picture-perfect family gatherings and traditions. But the reality is that not every family has a harmonious relationship or the means to create a lavish celebration. Christmas can bring up feelings of inadequacy, comparison, and disappointment. It's important to remember that the true meaning of Christmas should be about love, kindness, and generosity, not about the size or cost of the gifts we give.



Mindfulness and the Holiday Season

In the midst of the chaos and pressure, it's crucial to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is about being present in the moment and accepting our feelings without judgment. It's about recognizing that our emotions are valid and allowing ourselves to experience them fully. This applies to both the positive and negative emotions that arise during the holiday season.

Instead of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle, take a moment to evaluate why you celebrate the holidays the way you do. Is it bringing you joy and healing, or is it depleting you and robbing you of the very joy you seek? Remember that healing and growth don't always feel good in the moment. It's about finding what's best for you and building healthier relationships with yourself and others.


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The Culture of Caring

One of the biggest issues with the holiday season is the idea that we should only show love and kindness during this time. But why should love be limited to a specific day or season? Love should be a daily occurrence, not just a once-a-year event. We should strive to be kind, generous, and loving every day of the year.


Instead of waiting for a specific holiday to show someone you care, show them love and kindness every day.

Be there for them in their good days and bad days. Don't wait for a special occasion to express your love. By practicing this culture of caring year-round, we can create a more compassionate and connected society.


Embracing Your Feelings

It's important to acknowledge that not everyone feels the same way about the holiday season. Some people genuinely love Christmas and find joy in the festivities. Others may feel indifferent or even dislike the holiday. And that's okay. We all have different experiences and emotions, and it's important to honor and accept where we are.

If the holiday season brings up negative emotions for you, remember that it's just a feeling, not a fact. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes up without judgment. Seek support if you need it, whether it's from friends, family, or professional resources. You are not alone, and there are people ready to help you through difficult times.


Conclusion and Future Outlook

As we navigate the holiday season, let's strive to be mindful of our emotions and the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about the size of the gifts or the grandeur of the celebrations. It's about love, kindness, and generosity. Let's create a culture of caring that extends beyond the holiday season and into our everyday lives.

In the future, I hope to see a shift in our approach to the holidays. I hope we can prioritize genuine connections and acts of kindness over material possessions. Let's focus on building healthier relationships with ourselves and others, and let love be a daily practice, not just a once-a-year event.


So, merry fucking Christmas, happy damn New Year, and may we all find peace and joy in the present moment, no matter what the holiday season brings.



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