FACING THE FESTIVE SEASON

Christmas can be a hard time for a lot of people all over the world.

For many, this time of year can accentuate feelings of isolation; especially for those who are vulnerable.
Christmas is a time to celebrate togetherness and joy with our friends and family but there are many who can not find peace and happiness because regardless of the time of year; they are at constant war with themselves.

During the holiday season I try to manage two things; perspective and expectation.

With child-like anticipation, decorating the tree, singing carols and wrapping gifts; the lead up to Christmas brings me more joy than the day itself. I’ve had my share of family dramas and loneliness over the holidays but what’s remained consistent is the way I’ve felt about my skin.
With the new year looming, Christmas has always been my bench mark for yet another year with acne. The only way I got through each Christmas was by telling myself that next year would be different. Next year I would have clear skin.
Fourteen Christmas’s later and I still have have acne. But this year I was in control of my breakouts and in the spirit of Christmas I allowed myself treats that I knew would result in spots and stomach cramps. Having come out the other side, will I eat as many Yorkshire puddings and Lindor chocolates as humanly possible next Christmas? Probably!
Having acne has made me extremely experienced in dealing with the stresses of the holiday season. Just when you think your insecurities about your skin can’t get any worse; sprinkle a little bit of Christmas over the situation and your anxiety has increased by ten!
The thought of seeing relatives and friends that I haven’t seen in a long time used to fill me with dread.

What if they notice my skin? Or worse, what if they say something?

Unlike other events in your social calendar; there is no escaping it. Christmas is coming and attendance is obligatory.
But trust me when I say your absence will be noticed far more than any spots that have appeared over the last year! As scary as the prospect is, Christmas is an opportunity for you to feel loved. Yes, there is risk of a few, unintentional, careless comments about your skin but if you expect them; they will be less hurtful. In the past I have come up with a lighthearted retort for anyone who mentioned my acne.
“Jo what’s happened to your skin?”
Queue my reply about being on Santa’s naughty list!

AND END CONVERSATION!

In the past I’ve found the most hurtful comments are the ones that catch you off guard; most commonly made by children! One point or poke at my bulging cysts was enough for me to carry a box of Ferrero Rocher off to my room and stay there for the rest of the evening.
So when it comes to enjoying Christmas, it is all about managing your expectations and finding a new perspective:
  • Expect for a spot to arrive in the most irritating, un-concealable place on Christmas Eve.
  • Expect for family or friends to mention a change in your skin.
  • And finally, when your Christmas anxiety reaches it’s peak; do not take to social media to see what a fabulous time everyone else is having! Instead, take a breath and review the situation from a new perspective.
Wishing you all peace and love this festive season.