My Not So Secret Diary

Surviving the Festive Season

Surviving the festive season
The festive season will soon be upon us, and how we all deserve it this year! What a bizarre year it’s been. Wherever we are in the world, things have not be exactly normal. At present we are in the midst of our second lockdown, due to be removed at the beginning of December, but in reality, who actually knows?

While many things will be different, maybe we won’t be able to spend time with our loved ones in the way we are used to, maybe we won’t have the parties we expect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy ourselves. The thing that worries me most is that as a means to enjoy themselves many might overindulge, but that’s up to them, it’s a personal choice and I’m not judging, it’s just an observation. I wonder if we’re all allowed back together, if there will be many drink fuelled arguments as people who haven’t seen each other suddenly get to visit again? Maybe I’m just seeing the negative side of things though and forgetting the positives.

I’m not sure what our plans for Christmas will be. It’s hard not to know what the situation with Covid will be in a month or so, and therefore be able to plan. Our 15 year old son Barn is seeing a lovely girl from another country right now. She’s going home over Christmas and so they’re spending a lot of their day currently doing their allocated walk to and from school together. We’ve spoken about her staying longer here, or maybe Barn going home with her for a few days over the holidays. But of course, even this can’t be set in stone, because we don’t know how travel restrictions will be affected between the UK and mainland Europe between now and then. While I’m relaxed about most things, there’s no way I’d risk him going if it was likely he’d get stuck there.

It’s the not knowing that gets to me, but I find often that I stress out more when I lose control. I’m not a control freak, but it does seem to be when things happen that are completely out of my control that I worry more. It’s like a little buzzing in my head, and it’s hard, because there is very little any of us can do to help except to follow the guidelines. I read about this before, in the first lockdown, and the reason for much of our fuzziness and additional stress is called the Allostatic Load. Basically it means we’re subjected to quite a lot going on, but with no real means to tackle it. Therefore, we can’t really deal with it in the way we would normally. Think of it as us being wired with the fight or flight response, but here, we can’t do either, we’re just confined largely to our homes, waiting for the solution to be brought to our doorsteps, hopefully in the form of a vaccine. But who knows when that might be or how effective it’ll be? It takes all the power away from us and leaves us with only the unresolved stress.

I’ve never followed the news as much as I have done this year. All the notifications pop up for me, but I’m not really sure why, it’s not like the statistics really affect me. All I can do is what everyone else does too, and that’s as simple as doing what the government tells us and hoping they’re getting it right. There’s not a lot else we can do really is there?

I hope Christmas and New Year are times when we can all enjoy ourselves. I hope many of us get to see our loved ones. Maybe we need to take this opportunity to remember that Christmas is meant to be about family and while most of us love to get a present, I certainly do, that we can simplify it a little? If there’s one thing I’ve gained this year it’s the need to shop and buy a lot less than I did before. I don’t go out, so I don’t shop, but actually, I don’t miss it. Other than the clothes we need, I only buy food and books, so things are a lot less frivolous for us. I quite like having a reason not to go out. I feel less frivolous and more appreciative of the thing we do have.

It’s going to be different this year, but I’m sure we’ll all get through it. Just remember to take care of yourselves and those close to you.

Thanks for reading.

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