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Forums / Staying well / Getting through Christmas

Topic: Getting through Christmas

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. james1
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    23 December 2020

    Hi,

    I wanted to start this thread because there are a lot of people here, and elsewhere in our lives, who struggle during the Christmas period. Depending on my personal circumstances, I'm one of those people and Christmas can really bring out the loneliness in me. So I thought it would be nice to start a little thread where we can share either what we plan to do over Christmas, perhaps some things that we'd like to do, or even what helps you get through Christmas if it is a difficult time for you.

    I am quite prone to feeling exceptionally lonely over Christmas, and I don't particularly enjoy family gatherings (difficult history), so the biggest thing I did this year was I made sure I could bring my dog along. I'll take him for a nice walk tomorrow night, perhaps go looking at lights in our covid-safe car, and he'll be with me at lunch on Christmas Day.

    Another thing I'd like to do on Christmas Day is to get a coffee from my local coffee shop, and hopefully wish them a merry christmas, as I quite like the people who work there.

    James
    3 people found this helpful
  2. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    6276 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to james1
    On hols with family. Kids break from swimming. My son will spend with GF family. Will prolly call mum and dad to wish them merry Christmas. And brother? Will watch service streamed from my church instead of going to a service. So it will be a quiet one.

    Don't underestimate the value of wishing someone else happy Christmas :)

    Despite not being overly happy at this time of year, wishing someone else merry Christmas can be like wishing that person a happy birthday
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Bananie1234
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    67 posts
    23 December 2020 in reply to james1

    Hi James,

    I hope you’ll enjoy your Christmas and Thank You for your thread.

    I’m feeling the same too. And with the pandemic , i feel more lonely than ever. I couldn’t travel overseas (not even to see my loved ones). I planned to go home for Christmas this year which didn’t happen. My friend was coming back to qld from nsw over Christmas but due to the mini cluster, it ain’t happening. I have my brother here, but idk what’s going on , plus i got no invitations to hang over xmas. (For the past few years, I’ve been the one that either initiated or invited myself over) Even though I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if i rock up, my ego makes me not want to show up “uninvited”.

    i have spent one xmas totally alone in the past, i guess it’s not the end of the world to do it again but ive decided to go on this hike through a hiking club so I’ll spend xmas morning with a group of strangers. As for the rest of the day, I’ll see how i feel, i might put my ego aside and show up at my brother’s or I’ll just be a couch potato with my cat.

    after everything that’s happened to me this year, I don't feel the excitement, it’s just another day. I’ve got nothing to look forward to. Im feeling defeated over 2020. I’m scared if I don’t get on top of my anxiety and shame/self esteem issues, it’ll only go downhill.

    im really sorry if i dragged everyone’s christmas spirits down.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Lillylane
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    24 December 2020 in reply to james1

    Hi James

    Thanks for starting this thread.

    It’s a relief to be able to say here honestly I don’t find Christmas as joyous as TV adverts suggest. And the build up of expectations for at least the two months prior to Christmas is relentless.

    I have a painful family history too and this time of year is a particularly difficult reminder of that.

    This year I’ve planned a few things for spending the day to myself and not have too much time to think (hopefully). I’ve lined up some magazines, some plants to plant out and a small diy project to do.

    I’m glad your dog brings you comfort (and I’m sure it goes both ways). I have two cats and I find their gentle presence and cuddles very grounding.

    If I think about the best gift anyone has given me this year - it’s the BB forum. Here, I’ve found true kindness in the form of people generously giving their time to help and support others, without expecting anything in return.

    Thank you James and many other kind people here who contribute.

    Lillylane.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
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    25 December 2020
    Hiya James and others....

    Just wondering how your day went?
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Lillylane
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    25 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Smallwolf

    Thanks for asking. Hope the others here are doing ok.

    The day went ok for me. Not great.
    I found I had to put my phone away for a while, did some reading and some outside tasks.

    But I do feel my mood lifting a bit this evening, perhaps feeling the relief in getting to the end of the day.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    25 December 2020 in reply to james1

    James 1

    Thanks for starting this thread.
    how did your Christmas go. .?

    Christmas is another day for me but I know it can be very stressful and lonely for many people.
    Lillylane I am glad you got through the day , and sorry it was hard for you.

    Bananie thanks for sharing your thoughts . I am sorry you have had a bad year.
    how did your hike go..?

    1 person found this helpful
  8. golden82
    golden82 avatar
    435 posts
    25 December 2020 in reply to Lillylane

    Hi Lillylane,

    Sorry, I didn't notice this thread re Xmas also. I am sorry to read you were alone. Just to let you know I was too (better late than never for this message of solidarity hey?). You sound as though your day was okay and you were well prepared/planned for it which is great. Thinking of you and hope you have a nice restful sleep and wake up to it over for another year. I have done 8 of these Xmas alone in 38 yrs and I still struggle with it. Not even a single call or anything...so I certainly look forward to it being over and aim to be strong enough to help out at a volunteer centre next year. Take care.

    3 people found this helpful
  9. Lillylane
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    26 December 2020 in reply to golden82
    Hi Golden82,

    Thank you for your kind message - I was moved by your thoughtful words and it lightened my day. My warmest wishes in support! It sounds like it’s a really difficult time of year for you too. Let’s have a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate to celebrate the day being done and having a whole year to go until we have to endure this again!

    How are you doing today? I know even when we prepare ourselves, it’s still rough and that’s ok and understandable.

    I’m in my early forties and I’ve not been allowed back to visit my family home since I was 27 years old...

    I used to lie to my workmates and tell them I was going to see my family over Christmas. Partly I felt embarrassed and ashamed of myself and partly because I didn’t feel up to telling them the whole painful story.

    I’m in the midst of a relationship breakdown at the moment and it’s hard for me not to panic and feel like history is repeating itself somehow.

    I can understand how much energy it takes getting through the heavy feelings, especially this time of year, and self-care is a priority.

    Thinking of you,
    Lillylane
    1 person found this helpful
  10. Lillylane
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    26 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Thank you Quirkywords,
    Glad there is support here, and good to know we are not alone.

    2 people found this helpful
  11. Bara
    Bara avatar
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    27 December 2020 in reply to Lillylane

    I’ve not replyed to a post before or been on a forum.
    No...I’m not 2000 years old, just not big on social media etc.
    I also realise this is belated but I was looking for like minded people at Christmas and it’s taken me a few days to find you all. I dislike Christmas for most of the reasons you all do.

    The Optus ads that depict a fantasy life designed to reduce you to a quivering mess of inadequacies that you could fix if you sign up straight away.

    The pity invitations to others peoples family Christmas events that didn’t come this year anyway.

    The shut down of the normal world that helps me feel connected in some small way to my community.

    The reminders my family are 2000 odd km away and have all but forgotten me after 25 years absent anyway.

    Watching my Ex catch up with what was ‘our’ friends.

    Being positive with my 14 year old and making the most of what we have.

    Even in all that I see the good and am grateful but for a moment I’m going to just be and tell you all how draining it is to go through this every 12 months and the universe would do the mental health of many a favour if they chilled and gave the whole thing an ‘it’s ok to be ordinary’ overhaul.

    Good to talk🙂

     

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Bara
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    2 posts
    27 December 2020 in reply to Lillylane
    I may have just posted only to you, sorry. Like I said, unfamiliar territory.
  13. Lillylane
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    28 December 2020 in reply to Bara
    Hi Bara,

    Good to talk to you too! I’m glad you found this thread and the BB forums.

    I can certainly relate. I don’t use social media and it took me a while to have a go at posting here. Very glad I did though.

    There are so many expectations attached to this time of year and I think many people find it draining. I’m sorry that it’s brought up some painful reminders for you at this time. I can assure you you’re not alone here.

    Thanks for posting and I hope finding some like-minded people and discussions on these topics has been helpful.

    lillylane
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Missing user
    Missing user avatar
    28 December 2020 in reply to james1

    Hello James, thank you for making this thread. In my personal experiences, I find a lot of people think that ocassions such as Christmas are a happy time for everybody. They're not and that needs to be recognised more. Yes Christmas, Birthdays etc can be nice getting gifts if you're able to afford things, and so forth. But i feel sorry for those who can't have presents, don't have houses, food, and other things.

    My Christmases & Birthdays are always lonely, it's just my Parents & I. yes I'm lucky to have them because some people don't. But I just wish I had even 1 person to celebrate with, aswell as them. I don't have my Grandparents anymore (Mum's, Dad's passed away before I was born) but i didn't see them as much as I would've liked to but thats another thing in itself.

    1 person found this helpful
  15. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
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    29 December 2020 in reply to Lillylane

    Sorry about the delayed response to your reply. Can I ask if you are a "big" phone user? You said you found you had to put your phone away.

    I am not a big phone user. I have it more out of necessity in some ways. I would not say that I had to put my phone away on Christmas day but things like reading for me are enjoying. The rest of my family were on their phones.

    Perhaps a positive from your post is you recognised the phone was unhelpful and you were able to find something that gave you pleasure?

    1 person found this helpful
  16. james1
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    30 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi all,

    Classic me, I posted and disappeared for a while to deal with loneliness on my own haha.

    smallwolf - I had a quiet Christmas, and I spent the time with my dog which was nice. I didn't get to buy a coffee because the line was around the corner basically from 8AM to 1PM! I got my coffee on Boxing Day though, so that was nice.

    Bananie1234 - Ah I'm so sorry to hear about all the plans to spend time with loved ones that didn't come off. That must be so disappointing. I was meant to spend some of this holiday period with my closest friends but then Sydney got hit by the new outbreak and I can't get to them in Canberra. I hope the hike was nice!

    Lillylane - I'm glad you've found this thread and the BeyondBlue forums helpful and I'm sorry to hear a bit about your family history. It sounds like a real challenge, and I can understand the current relationship problems must make that feel even worse. I've had a similar thing this year where my own relationship broke down which makes this period of the year very challenging.

    quirkywords - nice to hear from you. It was alright as I mentioned to smallwolf. New year's eve and day are the next hurdles and then once I'm back into my daily routine, and hopefully get to go see my newborn godson in Canberra, it won't feel as lonely. I hope you're well!

    golden82 - a volunteer centre next year sounds like it would be lovely. that's an excellent idea :)

    Bara - thanks for posting here! It's nice to hear from you. 'Making the most of what we have' is an idea that brings me such mixed feelings. I find it both motivating, like the idea of making lemonade out of lemons, yet so sad that all I got was lemons. Oh well. I hope you and your 14 year old are doing well :)

    mb20lover - Yes, I understand that. I also have my sister and my mother, father and stepfather here, and of course my dog and rabbit and bird. But in my version of a perfect christmas and birthday and new year, I'd also have someone special to celebrate with. Thanks for posting

    2 people found this helpful
  17. Missing user
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    30 December 2020 in reply to james1
    I know how you feel James, I wish I had somebody, even just 1 person other than my parents to celebrate with.
  18. Lillylane
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    31 December 2020 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Smallwolf,

    I’m not sure if I’m a ‘big’ phone user - I could be without realising it. Often when feeling anxious, I’ll reach for my phone for distraction.

    Yes, it was a good thing to realise I don’t need to always have my phone on me. I’ve been doing more outside tasks (weather permitting) and now leave my phone indoors. I figure if anyone desperately needs me they will keep ringing and I’ll still hear it from outside.

    L.

  19. Bananie1234
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    67 posts
    1 January 2021 in reply to james1

    Hi James & quirkywords

    Xmas turned out fine, the hike was great, half of us are girls who also couldn’t go home so it was comforting. Pretty sure my plan to Melbourne is now ruined. I just feel so stuck. Im too scared to leave QLD, not cos I’m scared of the virus but with the border changing all the time, I don’t want to get stuck and have to pay for isolation. it’s also not like I don’t want to tour around QLD, it’s just hard when your closest people are not in QLD. And when your loved ones are overseas

    its just never ending, everybody is looking forward to 2021 but i just know it’s another bad day for me. Its already hard enough with international border closure,let alone domestic border closure. I’m exhausted. My mind was all over the place and now my body is catching up. For the past few days, i just feel really nervous out of nowhere and I couldn’t convince myself to calm down.

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