Are you feeling a little grumpy as we near Christmas? Or is it just me?
To be fair, it could just be me.
It’s been 6 weeks since I stopped taking my anti-depressants cold turkey (I’m sure there’s a joke about Christmas leftovers here somewhere). And I’m definitely more irritable.
Though I’d much rather be irritable than depressed.
Actually, I’ve had consistently good moods: literally 6 solid weeks of 4/5 or 5/5 days (as measured by the excellent Pixels app by Teo Vogel).
I can’t remember the last time I had 6 weeks of solid good moods. Over the last few years, it’s been rare for me to go more than 2 or 3 weeks without a few days of depression in which I struggle to get out of bed or have enough motivation to do anything at all.
I’m definitely feeling more irritable than usual, but not so much that it has a significant impact on my happiness levels or general satisfaction with life. Phew!
Many Reasons to be Grumpy
At this time of year in particular, there are plenty of reasons to be feeling grumpy.
There’s the stress of preparing for the big day – buying and wrapping presents, tidying the house (if you’re having guests over), trying to make sure you’ve got all those extra little jobs sorted out in time.
And then there’s incompetent delivery companies… yes, I’m looking at YOU, Hermes UK. You’ve managed to lose a parcel which contained a little boy’s Christmas present, despite the fact it was sent two weeks ago.
Yes, it was insured, but that’s not the point, is it. This present can’t easily be replaced. And by now it’s certainly too late.
You had ONE job, Hermes. ONE.
So yeah, there are a 1001 things to do and even more reasons I could use to justify why I’m a bit irritable and grumpy.
But that’s not how I want to feel.
And so I remind myself of a few things which help to return me to a place of calm.
I remember that there are people sleeping on the streets this Christmas, so I should consider myself lucky that I can even afford to send presents.
I remember that although it’s difficult to totally avoid all of life’s little irritations, I can choose how I respond to them.
I can choose to stew on those annoyances, obsessively ruminating on all the reasons I’m justified in feeling angry.
Trust me, I’m an expert at making mountains out of molehills. That’s a big part of why I ended up with clinical depression.
If I continue down that path, pretty soon I’ll have backed myself into a corner, filled with rage. I’ll be a dark, angry, depressed mess, just in time for Santa.
You should have seen me one year ago. I was depressed as fuck. I refused to actually run during the Christmas Day Park Run. Instead, I walked it, stubborn as Mary’s mule.
I hastily deleted the photos taken by the official race photographer. I’m surprised my miserable face hadn’t cracked his lens!
I can choose just to Let It Go (credit: Frozen). I can choose not to let those irritations get to me.
I can acknowledge the feeling of irritation in my mind. I can notice the tension in my body. And I can just… breathe it all out.
Ahhh, peace. Now that’s how I want to feel this Christmas.
And If All Else Fails…
… just get drunk and start a violent altercation with the nearest bystander.
See you in prison!
Merry Christmas, love from Rock Bollinger x