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Coping with Christmas

Author: Dawn Stenning Published: 21st November 2017 18:02

Snowman by Simon Howden

As a child Christmas is usually a time of wonder and excitement, leaping out of bed in the morning to check what Santa brought us in the night.

Sadly, as adults, Christmas can be one of the worst times of year - whether it's the pressures of families coming together, old memories being stirred up, financial strain, or being alone, Christmas fills many with anxiety and dread.

What can help?

Set boundaries. Be clear about what is acceptable to you and what isn't. Set limits. 

Communicate. Let everyone else know what your boundaries are. Explain what you can afford, or how long you can stay for your visit, then they won't be disappointed on the day.

Delegate. Even delegating small tasks can ease the pressure and help you to feel more supported.

Be prepared. Is there an argument that always plays out like a broken record every year? Don't fall into the same old trap, work out how you can deal with it in a different way.

Find the truth in the situation. It is virtually impossible to have an argument with someone who is agreeing with you - find the truth in what they are saying and agree with them " Yes you could be right, sometimes I can be a bit......."

BREATHE...........When we are anxious our breathing speeds up. This can make our body think that it is in danger and trigger our ‘fight, or flight' reaction. Taking slow deep breaths and holding the breath before exhaling out for a count of 5 helps our body and mind to calm down.

Remember the spirit of Christmas. Have fun, laugh, sing and play. Do something nice for a neighbour who's on their own - it's not all about the presents and the Christmas dinner!

On your own?

Indulge Yourself. Treat yourself to a day at a health spa or get some supplies in and spend the day wrapped up on your sofa watching good movies.

Help someone else. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or church, or find someone who would like some company, or help on the day.

Get it in perspective. In reality, it's just another day and it will pass, like every other day. 

Get help

Call someone. If you're really feeling low ring a friend, or relative, or call the Samaritans on 116 123 

If you are struggling to cope, visit your GP, go for some counselling, or join a local support group. You are not alone and simply admitting how you feel can be the first step to recovery.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Dawn Stenning MBACP is a qualified Counsellor and Holistic Practitioner working in Waltham Abbey, Loughton and surrounding areas. 

For more information please see Serenity Dawn Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/Serenity-dawn-229967023731854/

Snowman image by kind permission of Simon Howden.

Many thanks to Dawn for this useful and informative article - Site Editor Kate Towerzey.

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