Coping with stress this Christmas

Although Christmas is meant to be a relaxing time, the festive season has its own unique stresses. If you’re not sure how to cope, here are some tips to help you stay calm and healthy over the holidays.

Why Christmas causes stress

Whether you are struggling for cash or you are worried about who you are spending the holidays with, Christmas can be a trying time. We get stressed around this time because:

  • Existing family tensions often get worse
  • Feelings of loneliness can increase
  • There’s pressure to buy presents we perhaps can’t afford

Whatever the reasons, there are a few things everyone can do to make the holidays as stress-free as possible.

Talk about your feelings

Whether it’s with family, friends, or even a charity, talk about how you’re feeling and any stresses you are experiencing. Sometimes, simply talking out your problems can help put them into perspective, and other people can offer you tips on how to solve your dilemmas.

The most important thing to remember is that you don’t have to struggle alone this Christmas, particularly if you have small children or domestic problems.

Make lists

Checklists help keep you on track when you have lots to do. Ticking off small tasks as you complete them will give you a sense of accomplishment, and this feeling can do wonders for your stress levels.

Using checklists can also help you stick to budgets and timelines and reduce tension in this area.

Have a plan

If you’re worried about who you are spending the holidays with, or where you are spending it, then it’s important to plan your Christmas in advance. It’s often better to have a small, quiet Christmas, especially if you are worried about money.

If you are not spending Christmas with your children, or there are visitation issues, then it can be especially stressful. Be sure your children know that they are loved, and that they are not to blame for any tensions between adult relatives. Knowing your children are safe and happy is a weight lifted off your shoulders.

Remember, if you are at all worried about your personal safety, or your children’s safety, then you should seek the support of friends or family right away.

Don’t overindulge

Although it’s easy to overindulge in alcohol at this time of year, alcohol can fuel existing tensions and lead to arguments. It can also lead to putting yourself or your family in volatile situations, which simply adds to your stress.

Be sure to still enjoy yourself and only drink responsibly–this is especially important if you have small children or existing issues in family relationships.

Know Your Feelings Are Normal

It’s important that you don’t get too hard on yourself for how you’re feeling. We all struggle with stress at this time of year, and the holiday season often exacerbates existing anxiety and depression. Remember that the holidays don’t last forever and that it’s important to look after yourself.

For more advice on getting through Christmas or dealing with difficult relationships in families download our FREE ebook on child care and protection.


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