Sleigh bells are ringing and it’s driving me crazy. This time of year is SO heavy for me and I know plenty of you feel the same too. The enforced fun. The hectic social life. It feels like you give a lot and rarely make time to do things that you actually want to do.

But instead of resigning myself to a sad season, I’ve decided to refram it as an opportunity to dedicate more time to writing.

Accepting the sadness

Sadness during the festive season is natural, and acknowledging it is something that I think everyone needs to get better at doing. When it gets closer to Christmas Day, I’m haunted by the memories of all the past festive seasons that I spent in the depths of my depression. It’s almost like my body and brain are scared of it happening all over again, so I struggle to access that merry feeling that we’re told we’re supposed to have. I realise now that writing is my tool for emotion processing, and I should lean into that now more than any other time of year.

Choose creativity

Choosing creativity breaks the mould of the “perfect” festive season, making it a time for honouring your needs as a creative. I want us to celebrate our autonomy by choosing to set our own festive tradition of writing a page a day over that tricky time between Christmas and New Year. Writing is your tool to assert your voice and navigate your emotional landscape. When you make a commitment to write, you affirm that your creativity and voice matter. This is hard, but it’s such a bold and empowering statement to make for you and your life!

You’re not the Grinch

The festive stigma of constant merriment can be isolating. It’s OK to resist this pressure. Authenticity is essential to your peace, and there is no “right” way of experiencing the holidays. Your festive narrative is yours to define and writing can help you do that.

TIP: Try writing about the ways you want to make time for yourself over the festive season, or make lists of all the things that will make you feel better when things start to get overwhelming. List all your favourite non-festive movies, and all your non-festive activities that make you happy, and plan dates to make them part of your schedule.

onilne writing retreat

People-pleasing detox

This festive season, I’m challenging you to align your actions with YOUR needs and think about how creativity can be sprinkled throughout your time to give you a boost.

Here are three practical tips to help you put an end to people-pleasing:

  1. Set those boundaries: I know, I know….. establishing boundaries is EXTRA hard over the holidays but it’s crucial in resisting the urge to people-please. It’s okay to say ‘no’ to social gatherings and traditions that drain your energy. For the love of god, protect at least a little but of your time and space from others.
  2. Share your creative goals: Open up to family and friends about your plan to prioritise your writing over the festive season. They may not fully get it, but clear communication may help them respect your choice.`
  3. Take care of yourself: People-pleasing is often a result of not seeing yourself as worthy of care. Make self-care activities, like writing, a non-negotiable part of your daily routine, even during the festive season. Join Write Through Christmas for that extra nudge of accountability.

Gift to yourself

Finances are tight, and you might fall into the category of people who spend tonnes on everyone else and never on themselves. This festive season,  gift yourself the joy of writing either on your own or with me as part of Write Through Christmas. You’re not alone in feeling less than merry, I see you and I feel your pain. Your experience of finding the season difficult it valid and deserves authentic expression.

Let’s shatter the pressure to uphold continuous merriment. It’s okay to embrace mixed emotions during the festive season. Use writing to express your authentic feelings and dismantle the merry facades.