It’s Christmas season again. Time pressure, trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone and managing the children. It’s a highly stressful time. Here are my top tips to help you survive during the whole season. You can either read it or watch my video here:
Let go of Perfectionism and Pleasing
This season is rife for family and relationship conflict. Let go of perfectionism and pleasing everyone. It is really okay to have boundaries on what may be right for your family. Be clear and state them now. Try not to do everything, share out the jobs. If you are making the main meal, can someone bring the dessert or starter?
Manage Christmas Season Anxiety
You or your child may find social gatherings stressful, especially if it is in someone 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/videos of where they are going and family members they have not seen for some time.
Understand Family Traditions and Cultures
All families have different cultures and traditions. Inform your partner and family of any new rules. Hence, at Joe’s house, they do this, they eat at this time. Alternatively, inform your guests about your culture and what would they like to do.
Create a Quiet or Calm down Space
We all get a bit ” fizzy” at Christmas, create a calm down space in your or your relative’s home. This will help to de-escalate those hot, angry and tired moments. Ensure this is stated prior to a reaction. It’s helpful for everyone to know in advance.
Take Ownership of Your Time
This is can be tricky, sometimes we need to say ” no” and take responsibility for our time leading up to Christmas. It really is okay to say to relatives and our children, I am sorry I can’t do this right now but we will have a special time on…. and to relatives too.
Ensure that you give your children 10 minutes of Special Time regularly. This will prevent any meltdowns or unwanted behaviour.
Prevent Blaming your Ex-partner
Christmas can be so hard for separated and blended families. it so often results in children feeling sad, anxious and feeling 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.
Give yourself 10 minutes of daily “You Time”
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, hence it’s so important to take a little time for yourself to relax and manage your thoughts. Take a moment to breathe, return to yourself, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.
Channel Your “Inner Budda“
Christmas like no other time of the year can bring up old family wounds and rivalries. Take a deep breath, detach, forgive yourself and them. Sometimes all w can do is be grateful for what we have. For ideas go to https://gratefulness.org/
Say Thank You
The more I say thank you, the better I feel especially during a difficult day. I often like to light a candle. In Ireland, there is always a blessing for food, for what we have, a goodbye or whatever. It’s something I really like about my culture. Maybe you can start your own culture of giving thanks.
Most of all, I wish you light through 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. I will see you in the new decade in 2020. With much love, Catherine