The Christmas season is here. It can be fun, exciting and full of joy but it can also be a time when you have to spend time with family, and others that you simply may not normally choose to be with for the rest of the year. The pressure can build, so here are my 10 tips to take care of you and make it that best Christmas ever!
If your relatives are staying and your house is full, it can feel overwhelming. Ensure you plan separate moments by going for a walk, playing in the park or simply doing something like playing a game. This may calm any big feelings!
2. Manage Christmas Season Anxiety
You or your child may find social gatherings stressful, especially if it is in someone’s else’s home with different rules and routines. Create a schedule, we will be eating then and opening presents at this time. You may want to remind your child by showing them pictures of where they are going and family members they have not seen for some time.
3. Let go of perfectionism
Try not to do everything, share out the jobs. If you are making the main meal, can someone bring the dessert or starter? If you are worried your child may have a meltdown or cling tight to you, It does not mean you are a bad parent or they are a naughty child. They may just be anxious. Bring a self -soothe pack with you. You can learn how to create one on my blog here. Talk to them prior to the Christmas season about new situations. More ideas for social anxiety here at my blog
Dedicate a quiet space where you can go to help them to calm down, be clear that’s what you will do.
4. Say goodbye to guilt
Of all the seasons, this can be the one that triggers guilt. Firstly determine, if you are actually guilty. Usually, guilt is not guilt at all, but disappointment that you didn’t achieve something you set out to do, or anger because you said: “yes” to something that deserved a “no”. Let go, forgive yourself and them too.
5. Find Gratefulness
Directing more of our attention towards gratitude for the things that make our lives wonderful. It is scientifically proven to make us healthier, more energetic, less stressed and anxious, and help us get better sleep. Go to https://gratefulness.org/explore/new-to-gratefulness/ for more ideas
6. Start a journal
Emotions run high during the holidays, but much of what runs through our heads never needs to be said out loud. Instead, write it down. Write down how you are feeling, and what makes you happy, sad, angry, or frustrated. Putting it on paper gives you a chance to clear your mind and move through your day with less bottled up stress.
7. Don’t get into the blaming game with ex-partners
Christmas can be so hard for separated and blended families. it so often results in children feeling sad, anxious and feel it is their fault. Manage any potential conflict by asking neutral friends or family members to manage the contact. Acknowledge it is hard for them, not having mummy and daddy together. Ask them what might help them to get through the season and try not to blame your Ex.
8. Keep to a budget
There are so many presents you can give that cost time, not money. Finding the perfect gift is often stressful and expensive. Instead, find a meaningful gift. Give a friend your favorite book and write something to them on the inside cover. Look for other things you can pass on with love.
9. Try to be compassionate and mindful, Channel your inner Buddha!
Eckhart Tolle said, ” So if you think you’re enlightened, spend a weekend with your family and you will soon find out!”
I’m with Eckhart on this one, and remember we are only ever aiming to be good enough not perfect!
At Christmas, it is so easy to fall into old family patterns. We don’t want Christmas to be the time that we wait “in ambush” to explode and expose family members all we hate about them. Take some deep breaths, give yourself 10 minutes to calm down each day.
10. Honour those who are not there or maybe suffering
I like to stop for a moment in the day ( I do every day anyway) and light a candle to honour those who’ve left our lives or maybe suffering right now. Christmas is a time of joy but sadness too. Maybe you/your family have your own rituals to honour those who can’t be with us.
Most of all, I wish you a joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Thank you to all of you who have read my blogs, liked my Facebook posts, attended my workshops and who are my clients. My work is nothing without all of you and I am truly grateful. With much love Catherine