Christmas or STRESSmas?

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Christmas or STRESSmas?

1st December 2015 03:40 PM

Author: Mark Clutton

Christmas – festivities, families, food, fun? True, but it can be a challenging time too.......

The Christmas + New Year period can be a difficult time for a lot of people. There’s loads to do, lots of demands, pressures to socialise; expectations about the perfect meal, decorations, or gift; family tensions, house guests, rampant commercialism. 

For some people Christmas can be a time of anxiety, loneliness, loss, separation, or feeling excluded. 

Here are some suggestions to help have a more enjoyable festive season:

  • Have a plan of how your time will be spent. This is also true if you are going to be alone.  Make the plan flexible - life happens, and the plan might need to change. Having a plan can really ease anxiety.

  • Aim for excellence, not perfection – nothing in life is perfect.  Does it really matter if you don’t use the special Christmas napkins, if things go a little haywire with the dinner, or you don’t find the perfect gift for someone?  Forget the unimportant stuff, don’t dwell on imperfections.

  • Be realistic. Don’t try to be everywhere or to please everyone.  Manage other people’s expectations. Have an escape plan(s). That includes explaining you have other engagements, leaving early, and….saying “No thank you”.  Know your limits. Be firm, be kind.
  • If you aren’t looking forward to Christmas don’t assume the worst. The unpleasant things we think might happen rarely do. Focus on small positive things.  What we focus on becomes our reality.  The real Christmas or New Year is just a day, and a day soon passes.

  • Family dynamics – often challenging at this time of year. So if an argument erupts between relatives - remember you can’t control them, but you can control your reaction.
    Be flexible, be tolerant, keep cool, keep your distance from those who annoy you. If you can’t avoid, remember that everything passes….

  • You always have choices – including doing/saying nothing, not reacting, not listening to that inner critic. Choose to accept what is, let it go, without dwelling on it and getting stressed about it. Not easy, but worth doing, it gets easier with practice.

  • Share the workload – you can’t do everything.  Know your limits.  Ask for help from those around you or those who support you.  People like to feel needed and to know they are helping. Accept that some things might not get done.  

  • You don’t have to be locked into the “same old-same old” routines.
    Start a new Christmas tradition.  Do something new or different from the usual pattern – eg going to the cinema, or out for a meal, seeing different people, visiting somewhere new, assisting a charity.

  • Avoid :
    - getting overtired before and during the season
    - overindulging in food or alcohol (even if its really tempting, or if you are feeling brassed off).
    - overspending financially. Food or gifts don’t have to be excessive or expensive. Being remembered lasts long after the gift is forgotten.

  • Try to do something for someone less fortunate, no matter how small – a card & some mince pies for an elderly neighbour, volunteer to help a charity.

  • Remember loved ones who aren’t with you in a positive way, celebrate their memory.
  • Above all….Be kind to yourself.  Its not being selfish, its maintaining your wellbeing.
    Try to do something every day that gives you pleasure. It might be sitting down with a cuppa for five minutes, a soak in the bath, having a chocolate, or going for a walk. Give yourself a real hug every day, even if no else is around to give you a hug. 
    Identify 3 things every day which went well or you are grateful for – no matter how small.  Keep doing it.
    Remember - You are doing your best, and you deserve to feel good about that.


Hypnotherapy and EFT could both be beneficial therapies in supporting wellbeing, not just at Christmas but in many situations and circumstances.

A FREE 30 minute consultation is available for both Hypnotherapy and EFT and can be booked by calling 01332 521270 or by completing the online enquiry form. 

Tags: Christmas, Hypnotherapy, Stress

Treatments: Hypnotherapy, Emotional Freedom Technique - Tapping (EFT), Mark Clutton

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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