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Tips for Navigating the Holidays

Tips for Navigating the holidays – as autumn draws to an end and winter begins thoughts turn to Christmas and the holidays. A time that can be both joyous and stressful as we navigate spending more time with loved ones, more strain on our pocket and greater consumption of alcohol.

Below are some ideas on how you can reduce the stress and pressure of the Christmas period and have a more relaxed holiday period.

  • Be realistic – when planning your holiday time be realistic about what you are going to do and how it is likely to turn out. Have an understanding that things won’t be perfect and people won’t be perfect
  • Stick to a Budget – the holidays can put a lot of pressure on people to spend more money than they would like. If you are hosting people for Christmas you might find that you are spending a great deal more than you expected. Set a realistic budget, ask for contributions from others for food, consider saving throughout the year so that you are not put under financial stress.
  • Plan Ahead – Start your holiday preparations early to avoid last minute stress. Organise any travel arrangements, shopping and meal planning well ahead of time. Try not to do everything all at once, by doing small little tasks consistently things will be accomplished with less stress and effort.
  • Delegate – don’t try to do everything yourself, play to people’s strengths and ask for help. For instance if one person is great at cooking desserts ask them to make something and bring it. If you partner enjoys wrapping presents ask them to help you wrap.
  • Reevaluate your traditions- consider the different traditions you have at this time of year, are they things you enjoy doing or do you do them because you always have? If it feels right simplify your traditions and just do what you really enjoy.
  • Remember to build breaks into the holiday period, time where you can relax and recharge. This will help you to not feel so overwhelmed.
  • Continue to do what’s important to you – During the holiday period it can be easy to let activities go that keep us grounded and healthy, such as exercise, drinking enough water or meditating. Continuing to do these activities will help you to feel calm amongst the chaos.
  • Learn to say No – over the holiday period there can be a lot of pressure to be involved in activities and events that you don’t want to do or that would stretch you very thin. Learn to say no and prioritise your well-being.
  • Limit alcohol – over the holiday period alcohol can be more on hand and drinking more can cause people to act in a way they normally wouldn’t, causing arguments and disruption.
  • Celebrate virtually – if travel is challenging consider celebrating virtually and connect with loved ones online. This will reduce the stress of travel.
  • Be mindful – With the hustle and bustle of the holidays it can be easy to get swept along with activity and stress. Being in the moment and fully experiencing what is happening can be difficult to do. If you find yourself doing far more than just “being”, take a moment to ground yourself and be mindful of what is happening and how you are feeling.

The holiday period can be very stressful and overwhelming these tips are things you can try to put in place to make your holiday peaceful, calm and joyous. For more ideas on how you can navigate the holiday period have a look at the following links below.

Stress at Christmas – 3 Tips for Managing the Christmas Period

Managing Alcohol at Christmas

Christmas and Relationship / Couples Counselling

Mind – Christmas and Mental Health

Mental Health Foundation – Looking after your Mental Health at Christmas

Relate – 6 Tips for a Stress Free Christmas

If you feel that you would like to speak to someone about your mental health or anything else that is troubling you, you might find speaking to a therapist helpful. Paul offers Psychotherapy and counselling, EMDR and Clinical Supervision. If you are struggling with any issue and would like to make an appointment with Paul please call Paul on 07843 813 537 or fill in the form on the Contact Page, if he doesn’t answer he is probably in a session, please leave him a message and he will call you back as soon as he can. For more information about Paul please take a look at the About Paul PageFrequently Asked Questions Page and The Counselling Services Page.

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