Although Christmas is a joyful time of the year, not everyone gets excited when it comes around and if that’s you, then you might be wondering if something is wrong with you.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you. Yes, Christmas brings a lot of excitement, but that requires an excess amount of energy, which can usually leave us feeling drained.
There are also many stress-inducing aspects to the holiday season, such as big crowds, preparing food for a lot of people and dealing with relatives.
We’ve come up with a few tips to help you survive this time of year:
1. Stay active
This is the time of year when we start winding down – we are finishing up work for the year and some of us will be going away on holidays. However, as we start clearing our schedules, one thing that we shouldn’t neglect is exercise.
2. Make better food choices
It can be tempting to abandon your diet this time of year; there will be many social gatherings and a lot of great food, but overeating, especially during the holiday season, will leave you tired and make it harder for you to cope with the stressful aspects of the season. Make a note to stop eating when your body tells you to, even if there’s still a lot of delicious food on the table that you haven’t touched.
Another way to avoid overeating is to change your mindset about holiday gatherings. See them as an opportunity to socialise and spend quality time with friends and family, rather than opportunities to stuff yourselves with food.
It can be tempting to abandon your diet at this time of year, but overeating, especially during the holiday season, will leave you feeling tired.
3. Remain hydrated
This point goes hand in hand with the first two points. Drinking a lot of water will give you enough energy to stay active throughout the day and it will also fill up your stomach, making it less likely you will overeat.
4. Get enough sleep
One thing that will quickly leave you feeling depleted is a lack of sleep, so make sure you’re getting plenty of it. Sleep will help your body and mind recharge, allowing you to face the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with ease.
5. Spend time outside
Many Christmas celebrations take place indoors, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Step outside for some fresh air. You can take your family to the beach or have a picnic in the park. Being outdoors can lift our mood and energy levels.
6. Remembering Jesus
Christmas is all about Jesus, so we probably think we don’t need a reminder to remember Him, but you might be surprised to learn how easy it is to forget.
Uche Anizor, an associate professor of theology at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, in America, believes we often get more excited about Christmas than about Christ.
He said this happens because we’re inundated with less significant festive items such as holiday movies, pop carols and silly decorations and this has given us a ‘Christmas apathy’.
We often get more excited about Christmas than about Christ, says Uche Anizor, Associate Professor of Theology at Talbot School of Theology
However, he has some ‘possible antidotes’ to overcome this apathy:
1. Find a new way to engage the Christmas story
It’s a story that we hear every year and maybe it is seeming a bit too repetitive for you. Anizor suggests reading the story of Jesus’ birth in a new translation, listening to creative retellings or watching good re-enactments of the Christmas narrative. The key to fighting the apathy is to do something different.
2. Simplify your Christmas
One year, Anizor was challenged by his church to complete his Christmas shopping early to allow more time for reflection on the season.
“My wife and I tried it (albeit before having kids) and we loved it. We finished our shopping before the end of November, and our Advent was filled with more time for reading, listening to Christmas worship, and quiet reflection. It really helped us to not lose sight of the main thing,” he told Crossway.
3. Pray for a renewed sense of awe
Finally, he suggests that we pray to God to help us see the grandeur of Christmas and to “give you a sense of what it felt like for Israel to finally see its Messiah”. God is faithful and He loves answering prayers that seek more of Him.