There can be many reasons why the Christmas Holidays are difficult. There is no shame in it at all. The festive period is, at times, totally overwhelming. Buying the perfect gifts, hosting guests, preparing the dinner, time with family, having the kids at home and the seemingly endless responsibilities placed upon us, Whether it is due to a loss, the chaos of it all, the pressure or any number of other reasons, there are steps you can take to cope better.

Say No

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One of the hardest things to do during this time is to just say no. Something so simple, a tiny word, two letters, but it holds within it great power. Saying no can have complications. Possibly one of the biggest ones being that we may feel we will upset or diappoint someone close to us.

However, despite this is it so important for you to keep within your own limits, what you are able to do and what you want to do. Filling your days leading up to the Christmas Holiday can not only put tremendous pressure on you, but leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Take Time For You

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Following on from saying no, taking time out for yourself can be an incredible relief. Running yourself into the ground will not help anyone, least of all yourself.

If having some me time is sitting in your care for an extra ten minutes before going indoors, having a long hot bubble bath or sitting and doing nothing for half an hour, then that is what you need to do. Whilst Christmas is a joyful and happy time for most, especially the kids, the excitment and pressure can cause you to feel penned in. Having a few minutes each day just for you can make all the difference. Leaving you feeling more able to cope with the tasks at hand.


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Easier said than done, in many cases, but planning can help you feel better able to manage all the additional jobs you have at this time. Make lists of what you need to do and then plan them out. This can be a basic ‘get the presents wrapped this week’, to something more detailed. Just remember not to over plan and give yourself unachievable deadlines or tasks.

A great idea is to print off a simple calendar from online, or use your phone’s calendar app. Pop in what you need to do and do your best to stick to it. Be flexible though!

Talk to Someone

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It never hurts to talk to someone when things are getting on top of you. Just saying to a friend ‘I can not find the right present’ or ‘I don’t know how I will get everything wrapped in time’, can make a huge difference. Unburdening yourself in this way can prove to be a massive relief and help you think clearer, being ready to tackle everything in your path.

Of course there may be times when more than a friend or loved one is needed. That’s okay too. Have a chat with one of the countless mental health organisations out there. You can find some of them in our ever growing list in our Therapy section. Some have helplines, online chats and even groups that you can access to just talk.

Have Fun & Reward Yourself

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Remember that the holidoays are for you too. Christmas can be such an amazing time of year, filled with happy faces, laughter and new memories in the making. Don’t miss out on all of that by stressing yourself out trying to make it perfect. The truth is that what matters most to our loved ones is the time we spend with them, the fun we share and those memories we make. That’s what we take into the new year in our hearts.

A little reward never goes amiss either. Giving ourselves a pat on the back for finishing that list, wrapping those gifts or making that dinner is a must. We deserve to recognise the hard work and effort we make when the world turns festive. Eat one of those chocolates, have a glass of wine or read a book. Whatever gives you that warm fuzzy feeling, do it.

We have lots of hints and tips throughout December and in fact the whole year on how to better manage your mental health, you can search on our home page. Don’t forget to join the conversation on social media too. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.

About Author

Erika is bright, bubbly and friendly. Studying to be a counsellor, she is committed to helping others in the pursuit of better mental health. Having suffered from mental health issues herself including severe anxiety and PTSD, she wants to show others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not just a cliché!
Erika enjoys spending time with her little one, friends and family, crafting, reading, writing, music gaming, cooking, creating art, cacti and llamas.

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