How to Survive Christmas

18 December 2023

Christmas for a lot of people is a time of joy, laughter, and traditions. However, we know for others, it can also be a period of stress, worry, and family dynamics that test our patience! From the stresses of shopping and wrapping to the anxiety of family gatherings, Christmas can sometimes be overwhelming. Here are some top tips to help navigate this holiday season as stress-free as possible.

 1. Set Realistic Expectations

Christmas is often portrayed as a picture-perfect holiday, where everything goes smoothly and everyone is happy. However, this unrealistic expectation can set us up for disappointment and frustration. Instead, approach the festive season with a more prepared mindset. Accept that there may be bumps along the way, and sometimes you can’t prevent them!

2. Prioritise Self-Care

During all of the seasonal preparations and social commitments, it's easy to neglect our own well-being. But self-care is essential for emotional balance and resilience during this hectic time. Make time for activities that can rejuvenate you, whether it's exercise, relaxation techniques, or just simply spending quality time alone.

3. Practice Mindfulness

The fast-paced nature of Christmas can lead to feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. To help with  this, try and use mindfulness practices that can help bring you into the present moment. For example, you could engage in mindful breathing exercises, practice gratitude journaling, or simply take a moment to appreciate your surroundings. You can learn more about mindfulness at Christmas here

4. Set Boundaries

It's important to set boundaries that protect our emotional and mental well-being. If you feel overwhelmed by social commitments, politely decline invitations or suggest alternative arrangements. it's not too late! Similarly, establish clear boundaries with family members to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings. It may seem hard to do at first, but you will thank yourself in the long-run.

5. Find Joy in Giving Back

The act of giving is a great way to show love and spread joy during the holiday season. If you have the time and resources, consider helping someone else who may need a bit of extra support. This could be as simple as donating to a cause you care about, buying an extra toy for a toy donation campaign, or even just lending an ear to someone in need.

6. Embrace the Unexpected

Despite our best efforts to plan and control, things don't always go as planned during the festive season, especially as a co-parent! Embracing the unexpected can help you navigate these situations with calmness and flexibility and allow you to not get too worked up. Learn more about how you can survive Christmas as co-parents here

7. Allow Yourself to not feel Christmas-y

There's sometimes a big expectation to feel happy and excited at Christmas time, but we know that's not always the case. Sometimes, it's hard to feel positive a for a number of reasons. Whatever the reason, you are absolutely allowed to not be in the spirit of things! Let yourself feel your negative emotions, but also make sure to reach out for support if needed. 


Remember, Christmas is a time for celebrating love, gratitude, and the spirit of giving. But it doesn't always look or feel the same to everyone. Make sure you do Christmas your way and try to put yourself first. You can check out some useful resources from MIND here

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