For many of us, Christmas is a happy and joyous time, enriched by reuniting with family and friends. But for others it can also be very stressful. Surviving Christmas where old patterns in family dynamics emerge, our stress levels rise, and our ability to cope can really be tested.
Christmas also brings other stresses and expectations that many of us find difficult to cope with. We are expected to love Christmas and embrace all things about it. Planning the “perfect” Christmas, finding the money to buy all the presents needed and worrying about over-eating can lead to this time of the year being more about stress and anxiety than it is about relaxing and being merry.
For others, Christmas can be a lonely time. It can remind us of those we have lost on our journey through life either through divorce, disconnection or death.
There are ways to help make this time of year more manageable though. Here are our 5 top tips for surviving Christmas.
- Ignore social media – remember that these are highly edited to show the best bits of other people’s lives. Never compare how you feel inside to other people’s outsides.
- Talk – either to friends or to a therapist. You might be surprised how many other people are in the same boat as yourself.
- Set boundaries – being able to say no can help avoid unnecessary pressure.
- Look after yourself – Remember Christmas is a time to relax too. Be lazy, take care of yourself and think about what it is YOU want to do.
- Make your own traditions – It’s ok to start new traditions and spend Christmas in the way you want to.
If you are struggling with anxiety, stress or loneliness at this time of year and would like to talk to someone about it, please contact our reception team who would be more than happy to book you in to see one of our psychotherapy and counselling team for a free 30 minute assessment. Help is out there, so come in.
Written by James Whittaker