It's Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas

As the clock ticks down to December 25th, the familiar jingles of holiday music can be heard from a mile away. Whether you’re sick of them or love listening to the sound of sleigh bells everywhere, there’s no doubt that the holiday classics are filled with nostalgic emotional triggers. However, some are undoubtedly less heartwarming than others. Forget being instantly transported back to your childhood, how about the harsh reality of an overwhelming to-do list?! With a fast-encroaching deadline?! As it turns out, research shows that hearing the same festive songs over and over can actually exacerbate the stress you feel during the holidays. That’s right, it’s the news that Grinches everywhere have been waiting for: overdosing on Christmas music is officially bad for your mental health.

While Christmas is treated as a collective hallucination by the whole entire world, things get really intense, really quick when you work in retail. Overall it’s a sparkly nightmare that will instantly leave you with severe signs of Scroogitis (pronounced sca-roog-aye-tis). Symptoms appear in a domino-effect, first you might find yourself humming along and tentatively tapping your feet for the first few days, shortly followed by unwarranted and sudden irritability, strong migraines, nausea, fainting, calling in sick to work too often, physically feeling your blood boil at the sound of “Jingle Bell Rock” and finally, completely losing it as Mariah Carey tells you what she wants for Christmas for the hundredth time. Often times you’re left with no choice, you have to be the buzzkill and stop that one insufferable colleague who gets too much into the spirit and prances around reminding everyone to smile because it’s Christmas. Go ahead and slap me with the “Grinch” label, I don’t care anymore. Isn’t it enough that you have to go to work? Turns out there’s no peace in hell either. Merry Christmas!

Psychologists have found that playing Christmas music too early in the year can wreak havoc on one’s mental health. It turns out that Christmas songs actually make it impossible for us to focus on anything other than snow, mistletoe and (especially) presents under the tree. The sound of sleigh bells ringing (and rigging and ringing) is also perfectly timed with the arrival of finals. With the arrival of this “other kind” of season, comes a whole other set of rules. Our Mr. Noodles-fuelled brain doesn’t have the extra energy to deal with festive distractions. Obviously, this is all a conspiracy, they try to get us when we’re down. This scenario can only be described as a student’s weakest and deepest moment of stress. Suddenly, you’re crying over the essay you should have submitted last night. Now you’re in an even bigger dilemma. Not only do you have to deal with writer’s block after typing one sentence...Surprise!!! Just when you thought you’d be able to finally get that chemistry lab report done, you’re interrupted by gingerbread men waving their candy canes in your direction whilst strangling you with tinsel.

We’re here to let you know it is okay to exercise your inner Grinch and put your foot down against all of this Holiday madness. It is okay to listen to your normal everyday tunes and tell Justin Bieber to put a sock in it. Trust us, Michael Bublé won’t mind either (he’ll come out of hibernation again next year anyway). It is okay to say, “No. I would not like to sing-along to this song again today, I already have twice in the past hour.” There is no shame in being the Debbie-Downer in this department. There is a strong possibility that someone else in the room wants it shut off too. Even if you’re not the gutsy type, being able to demand the peace your brain needs from the carolling chaos surrounding you, there is still light at the end of the tunnel. The Christmas music spell only lasts so long, even for those who welcome it with open arms. There will come a time after the Christmas dust has settled, we’ll all finally get a silent night’s sleep, and you can throw your roomie’s holiday CD away, and the music will be turned off for good.


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