Not Feeling as Merry as you Should?


The holidays are commonly associated with cheerful music, seeing loved ones, sharing great food and overall ‘positive’ emotions (happiness, joy, excitement and so on). In reality, the holidays stir up all kinds of emotions, also less pleasant ones. These might come from the gloomy cold weather, being exhausted and in need of some down time or facing difficult family situations.

We find ourselves wishing everyone a ‘Merry’ Christmas, but the holidays are not always 100% merry. The expectation to be merry and to feel merry may be hard to fulfil. It can even leave us feeling guilty or inadequate if we don’t live up to this 100% merry expectation. The truth is, very few people feel purely jolly, most people have a mixed cocktail of feelings.

Life doesn’t pause just because it’s the holidays. We still have our duties, our worries, our struggles and our goals to go after. So we can feel merry about something, worried about another and maybe even sad about something else. All your feelings have their place.

Two things for you to keep in mind over the holidays:

  1. It’s completely normal to have mixed and even contradicting feelings. Our emotions are linked to something that happened, something that was said or done, and also to our thoughts. There are always many things happening in parallel and that leads to many different feelings.
  2. Our expectations influence how we feel. If we think we should be feeling merry and joyful because it’s the holidays, and for some reason we aren’t, we might think that something is wrong with us. That can lead to us feeling unhappy, inadequate or miserable. In actual fact, there may be no other reason for us to feel these ‘negative’ feelings other than our unrealistic expectations that we should feel merry and only merry.

Just as any other time of the year, there is a reason for your feelings. The best thing you can do is to pay attention to your emotions. Name your feelings so you clearly know what they are. Acknowledge and accept them because if you fight them or feel guilty about them, they will just get stronger. Then work on understanding why they are there and what to do with them. Besides our Feeling Magnets that can help you with this, we also have other free resources that you might find interesting: What are emotions? How to understand your emotions?

To learn more about emotions, subscribe to the newsletter at the top right of this page.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.