Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Christmas is meant to be about family. It's about coming together and enjoying each others company, sharing and relaxing. however, it is often about disagreements that are based on our judgement of others, values, beliefs and expectations of each other.
Lets have a look at 5 tips to survive Christmas Matt from Redlands Counselling Service has put together.
1. Planing as a Family
Bring your family together and write a list of what everyone wants to do. If you have teenage children, discuss family time and time with friends so you get a happy balance. Set a realistic budget for presents, food, and other things and try to stick to this as best you can. If a child wants something that is beyond the budget, speak to them and explain as best you can why they cannot have it.
Make a list of who needs to see who – this is particularly important if you are part of a blended family where different people have different connections in the wider family.
Don’t try and do everything yourself - make a list of jobs that need to be done and allocate them between family or other guests that are invited. Don’t try and keep everyone happy all the time. Schedule in some time to recharge your own batteries for your self-care - if you’re well rested you be able to enjoy it more with reduced stress.
If things get heated between family members and everything gets too much, remove yourself from the situation and perhaps call a friend or relative. If this is your first Christmas as a step-family your child may feel confused and maybe even angry – try to allocate some time that you can spend alone together to reassure them.
Plan a family treat to avoid that deflated feeling after the holiday season. That way, you’ll have something to look forward to.
If you need help planning book a counselling session with Matt at Redlands Counselling Service Capalaba on 1300 241 667.
2. How To Stop Judging Others
Bryon Katie talks about there are three types of business in our world, my business, your business and gods business(stuff we can't control eg. floods,weather).
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation and loneliness. If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? Notice when you feel loneliness or separation. Are you mentally out of your business? If you are not sure, stop and ask yourself, “Mentally, whose business am I in?” Notice when you give uninvited advice either out loud or silently and ask yourself whose business are you in could save you during Christmas. This purpose of asking this questions and noticing your reactions could be your saving grace not just for the holiday period of in life.
3. Drink In Moderation
It wouldn't be Christmas without warnings not to drink too much. Drinking will relax you, but too much makes you moody and aggressive (because alcohol is a depressant).
For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease and injury.
So therefore, plan some alcohol free days: grab a juice, mineral water or iced tea instead. Keep count of your standard drinks by pouring your own drinks. Importantly eat before, and while, you are drinking. There are alternate alcoholic drinks that are non-alcoholic.
Plan activities for your family that don't involve alcohol; remember its about family coming together to relax, distress and enjoy each others company, you don't need alcohol in order to achieve it.
4. Don't Try To Be A Christmas Martyr
Your plan is to buy all kids’ presents, then wrap them all, while preparing food and making sure relatives are looked after? Then stop right now. Don’t try and do everything yourself – delegate! It makes for happier families... and a happier you. So instead: Put the kids to work,
Older kids can help with everything from card writing to wrapping gifts.
On the day, ask them to set the table and help with simple food prep like putting out nibbles for guests. Most of them enjoy the responsibility to be apart of Christmas.
Ask your guests to bring a plate if your hosting large numbers then it would lessen your load so many you can focus on the main meal.
It’s fun and cuts down on the work, so you don’t spend the whole day stressed in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun. Play to people’s strengths, if you have a relative that is a fantastic cook then ask her to cook with you on the day or bring something.
Leave it to the professionals if it all feels like too much, abandon ship and book Christmas lunch out somewhere.
If you need to work on destressing then book a counselling session with Matt at Redlands Counselling Service Capalaba on 1300 241 667.
5. What Is Your Meaning Of Christmas
If your meaning is about the birth of Christ then remember, The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love by God sacrificing his son for us. Embrace your values and beliefs and remember to allow other their own belief and values.
For me Christmas represents a special time of bring all the family together to connect with the commonality of love we have for each other and have FUN. Smiling and laughing is really the best way to de-stress! Remind yourself, what is my real purpose over Christmas? and what is the best choice I can make TODAY?
Merry Christmas everyone from Redland's Counselling Service. Make it a choice to enjoy Christmas !Wishing you all a joyous time.
If you need any support call Redlands Counselling Service on 1300 241 667 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
click to book online HERE.