Christmas means a lot of different things to different people. For many of us it can be stressful so it’s important not to let ourselves get overwhelmed or bogged down in expectations.
We reached out to our correspondents to ask what tried and tested festive self-care tips they use to make the holidays as stress free as possible. In no particular order, let’s check em out:
- Give yourself permission to say no to plans or things you don’t feel up to doing. The power of being able to say no should not be underestimated at any time, but at Christmas it can be particularly helpful.
- Remind yourself that it is just another day and not let the pressure to be jolly and festive get you down.
- If crowds and cheesy Christmas music piped through tinny speakers isn’t your thing, the try to avoiding visiting supermarkets close to the 25th.
- Choose to spend the day with the person or people most important to you. One of our correspondents loves nothing more than dressing up her hairy bairns (dogs not hirsute kids!) in their festive togs and taking them for long walks with her partner.
- Trying putting off any non-pressing commitments until January when the atmosphere and crowds cool down a bit.
- Let your family or friends know what you need at the start of the day or tell the time you will spend with them so they’re aware.
- Have a quiet room set up wherever you are spending Christmas day, that you can go to if you need some space.
- Writing a list of mantras you can pull out if you’re getting panicked, words that help keep you calm and remind you of your strategies.
- Taking a small item of comfort, something meaningful (mine is a keyring with a picture of me and my mam), that you can keep in your pocket and touch to calm you.
- Making sure you don’t drink too much if it tends to tip your mood. It’s easy to get carried away when everyone around is drinking
- Keep your telephone numbers at hand, for your crisis team, or support system, so you don’t need to go looking for them if you need them.
- Don’t pressure yourself to spend money. Giving does not mean buying.
- Try to express your feelings in a healthy way, just like any other time of the year.
- If you feel lonely, see it as an opportunity to spend time with yourself and do things you really enjoy.
- Don’t judge harshly your inner child that is craving love and attention and try to be a good parent for yourself setting limits and boundaries.
- Accept your Christmas situation and have realistic expectations.
- Try to have an open mind on how to spend the Christmas period. Maybe by trying new things you could give yourself a lot of pleasure.
- Don’t freak out because of the Christmas period, just try to take care of yourself just like any other time!
- Ask yourself: What is Christmas for me? What can I do better this Christmas period? Is there anything I need from others? Is there anything others need from me? What are my priorities?
- Realise that it is not only about enjoying but also about being aware of feelings. Even if we ‘fail’ to enjoy the Christmas period, we can see it as an opportunity to get to know ourselves better and thus get better.
If you have tips you’d like to see on the list do let us know in the comments or tweet us!