The busiest time of year is almost upon us and it's a time to reflect on the past year and hopefully look forward to the New Year. Whilst Christmas can be the most amazing time here are a few tips to manage your holiday season and prevent yourself from burning out if big social gatherings can make you feel anxious.
Boundaries are key in life, for a happy balanced life but boundaries are particularly important at Christmas. Wherever you are spending Christmas this year try to set some boundaries about where you will be, how long you will spend there and what you will do when you are there. So, if you only want to spend lunchtime at someone's house then just let them know or they may assume otherwise, which can cause stress and anxiety for you. Communication is key to avoiding stress and misunderstandings at Christmas. As long as everyone is clear about what they are doing, then this should minimise any upset or anxiety.
Learn to recognise when situations are tense
We've all been there. It's Christmas, everyone is on their second, third glass of sherry and you can sense a disagreement brewing. Learn to recognise these situations and if you feel uncomfortable, then take yourself away. Go for a walk, whatever it is that you need to do and clear your head.
Let's talk about presents
This is a tricky conversation but there can be a awkward moment when you receive a present from someone you haven't bought for, or you receive a present which something you'd never use. It's a waste of money and more importantly, it's not a good environmental choice. Try to have a conversation before Christmas to find out if you are buying gifts for each other and find out what that person really wants. Then you can avoid unwanted presents.
Yes it's Christmas, yes it's hectic and yes there are million people to see. However, Christmas should be fun and above all else, there should be some relaxation time for everyone. Try to make sure that you have some time alone with your immediate family or on your own completely. Time to recharge and gather your thoughts and decompress.
Christmas can be stressful, anxious, tense and all of the above. We are very rarely in the same room as all of our relatives throughout the year and then we are all thrown together once a year and expected to get on, it doesn't always go to plan. Try to look after yourself and tell people if you're struggling and need some time out, your mental health will thank you.
I hope you all have a restful, relaxing and compassionate Christmas and New Year. I will be back in the New Year and take care everyone xxx