Mentally Preparing for Christmas

5 things to keep you going

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas Day.”

Andy Rooney

Christmas is a tradition which stems from a variety of sources and the loud and brash existence it has become has created a multitude of issues, the spiraling level of debt we seem to accumulate during Christmas alone should be enough to worry the average person – so why do we do it? –  Social pressures? Guilt? Whatever the reason – are the after effects and long term mental health consequences worth it? Whichever attitude you take there are steps you can take to make it easier and take the stress away, getting organised helps so find your ideal planning method and let yourself shine.

Christmas is a happy time of year where family traditions of food, entertainment and gift giving have been celebrated for centuries. It is one of the most ‘popular’ holidays enjoyed by many across the world.

This article is about the mental preparation required for Christmas. It’s ability to be an emotional roller coaster for people never ceases to amaze me. So regardless of the situation there are 5 things you can do which may help:

  1. Breathe – there are many of you probably scoffing as you read this – it’s simple and effective and gives you a moment to re-centre. You don’t have to be anywhere special to do it and frankly you should be doing it anyway.
  2. Mind dump – a less obvious trick but if there are things that worry you then write them down, by getting them out of your head it frees you to deal with them if necessary. Christmas can be an awkward time juggling family, friends and work parties you are bound to worry about mixing so and so with such and such. Try and and keep it to no more than 5 if you can.
  3. Buddy up – if you have a friend in a similar situation who needs the moral support pledge to be there for each other that way you know you both have someone to talk to. There are also now plenty of talking AI (Artificial Intelligence) counselling apps – these can be useful if you cant or don’t want to talk to anyone else – they are completely confidential and widely available on iOs and Android.
  4. Get organised! – your way of course whether you are a list maker or a mental checklist kinda person find a way to formulate your plan of attack. List making can be satisfying simply because of the ability to check each thing off – if you need encouragement through achievement then I strongly suggest going down this route. There are plenty of holiday planners available online to print and buy in the shops – if you don’t fancy making your own list but still want the gratification then this is your easiest option.
  5. Rest and Relaxation – this is all we hope for during the holidays – make sure you assign some time to resting and relaxing, the greatest gift you can give is time so why not spend some on yourself!

I would also stock up on your favourite hot drink – there are a wealth of options for all dietary needs and I will be doing a hot chocolate special next week which I hope will give you all some ideas!

Whether your child wants the most expensive toy in the shop or not the emotional pressures of Christmas can mean an extension to the already crippling social pressures that some of us face everyday. Only the best my Nanna used to say and we echo this desire every year – trying to better the year before, trying to keep to the budget – it can be a struggle but planning as I have said is your friend.

Social anxiety is the elephant in most people’s room and the holiday season really brings out its worst side doesn’t it? It can happen anywhere – in the store, at the mall, at a party even sometimes at home. Remembering to breathe is your best weapon in most situations, we often make ourselves more panicked by forgetting to breathe – take some nice deep belly breaths and take a minute to assess the situation.

Self-care – we often dismiss self-care especially at Christmas – how can we possibly have time look after ourselves when we are looking after everyone else. A time even if you are single living on your own i’ll bet that there is rarely a time when you just enjoy being or even just doing what you love. As I have already said there is no greater gift than time give yourself as much as you require.

As I have already said – you need rest and relaxation! There a ton of excuses which seemingly prevent it but you need to try – I understand that it can be difficult with emotional pressures at Christmas, maybe you find 10 minutes to sit down and just breathe, maybe you take a walk in a park on a beach – whatever floats your boat!

Mental preparation for events can be difficult even for the strongest of us so if you need further support help is available. As I have previously mentioned about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) counselling apps they are free to use – paid options are available – they often have a library full of methods for coping mechanisms and support strategies. It might seem odd to be talking to your phone – if you feel more comfortable talking to a person then by all means there are a wealth of therapists and counsellors available. 

Christmas is not always the easiest time as I have said – preparation is key! Just remember you can do it!

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