10 Xmas Coping Strategies! Be at your best!
It is a stressful time of year, but does it really need to be? All too often, we do the same as we have always done on in previous years (Anxiety Workbook ). People rush around and have no time for themselves ( The Anxiety Compass ). Present buying, wrapping, food planning, preparation, decorations, family disputes…Activities at school go into overdrive; Carol Services, nativity plays, and school fares, all demand money and time (Anxiety Stops Us Enjoying Life..)
Work becomes busy, social events and the dreaded office party, where someone always gets disgracefully drunk and loses all inhibitions, only to pay for that one mishap for the rest of their time with that company.
The Big Day!
Xmas Day arrives. Paper is shredded from the mountains of presents. Dinner is cooked, but consumed in a fraction of the time it took to prepare. Booze is quaffed to excess. Sleep descends upon many, all afternoon and hours of tidying ensues.
All too often, families are thrown together in a confined space, with the heating on too high and alcohol thrown into the mix. These cooped up family members( Attachment Theory for Parents & the Art of Letting Go!,) , who don’t see each other from one Xmas to the next, through choice, are suddenly expected to greet each other with good cheer. Then we wonder why tempers flare and are surprised when this volatile cocktail results in old resentments exploding to the surface and wrongs from umpteen years ago, getting aired for all to see. Grief can also play a large part in the drama of the Xmas ideal. People who no longer occupy a place at the table, can cast a long, sad shadow on the proceedings, (Grief: A complex Human Response to Loss).
Does it really have to be like this? Of course not !! So, how do we make it a Christmas to remember, rather than another Christmas to forget?
10 Tips to survive Xmas & Be your Best version of You!
- Accept that perfection does not exist. Nobody minds if the turkey is not done at the same time as the potatoes. No one is going to starve. All will come right in the end…. if everyone mucks in.
- Remember that families who do not get on the other 364 days of the year, will not necessarily get on on this day. So, arrange to see relatives separately, before, or after the big day.
- Settle disagreements beforehand. If you can’t, then share Christmas Day with the people you like, the people you love, the people who cause you the least stress, the people who are relaxing to be with.
- If you know that alcohol makes you lose lipped, then don’t over indulge.
- Don’t be a martyr to the Xmas period. Delegate tasks, share roles, enlist help with shopping, wrapping, and cooking. You do not have to do it all alone.
- Set a budget & stick to it.
- Spend time with children and family members ( those you get on with!). Nobody really remembers what gift they had last year, but they will remember the things you did together, the traditions and memories you created.
- Create new traditions and new memories, but enjoyable ones, filled with laughter and happiness.
- Pace your Xmas activities. Not all invitations have to be accepted.
- Take time to breathe, to relax, to enjoy the moment. It is but 1 day, 1 holiday season. It will pass all too quickly. Make it memorable for all the right reasons.
Endeavour to come out of it happy and calm, not full of resentment and stress. If you need to talk through strategies, that can help you to cope better then previous years, or to reflect once the big day has passed, then contact me:
Laura Morrissey Counselling & Coaching