Waitaki District Health Services

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COPING WITH THE STRESS OF CHRISTMAS - 17th Dec 2019

 

 

Adapted from au.reachout.com  https://au.reachout.com/articles/coping-with-the-stress-of-christmas

 

Christmas is meant to be a time of celebration, but the ‘season of goodwill’ can easily slip into ill-will and a ton of stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and on edge, or if you’re spending Christmas away from home, there are things you can do to make dealing with the holiday season easier.

 

Why people get stressed at Christmas

Christmas and the holidays can be a massively busy time. Some of the reasons people get super-stressed, tired and argumentative with family at this time include; working long hours to get things finished before the holidays, worrying about the financial cost of Christmas presents and the holidays, overdoing it with too many family, work or social events, or missing family or friends they can’t be with.

 

Get some space

Because Christmas can be busy, it’s worthwhile making sure you have time out just to relax and be in your own space. If things are getting a bit much then take some time to: go for a walk; ring a friend; find a quiet space to relax or put your headphones on and close your eyes.

 

Talk out the tension

If you find that things are getting on top of you, talk to someone you trust about how you feel. You might even talk to the person or people causing you stress to see if you can work something out together. Sometimes they might not be aware that they’re upsetting you – let them know in a non-confrontational way.

 

Spending Christmas away from the family

Celebrating Christmas away from the people you love can be lonely. If you’re spending it with people other than your family, plan for some fun activities, plan some special Christmas foods, line up some fun movies to watch, take a scenic walk, or play a fun game.

Helping others can also be a great way to feel the joy of Christmas. Look online for charity Christmas lunches happening nearby such as the Salvation Army or do a secret Santa nice thing for someone else.  

 

Dealing with a split family

If you have to divide your time between different people’s place, talk to the adults in advance about how you’re going to split your time at Christmas so it doesn’t feel like a stressor on the day.  Spending a lot of time with someone you don’t often see can also be tough. Taking some time out from them might help you to have more fun when you’re together. Maybe chill out by listening to some music, going for a walk or chatting with a friend.

 

Need someone to talk to?

If you’re finding it hard to cope, you might like to talk to someone who’s not so close to the situation. You can free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

 

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