Helping you get through tough times

Planning for a stress free Christmas

Christmas is a special time where we get together with family and friends. Sometimes, the very reasons we love Christmas are the same things that stress us out.

The perfect Christmas

christmas_tree_decorationWhile the idea of the perfect family Christmas is awesome, planning and negotiations can turn into a logistical nightmare.

It’s great to feel needed and wanted by loved ones but sometimes it can all be a bit much. Add shopping, cooking and studying into the mix and it’s a recipe for a frazzled festive season.


Feeling pressured to try to make everyone happy during the holidays equals guaranteed stress. Yes, it’s all about giving and family but a happy healthy you is what your family really want for Christmas.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Thinking about what Christmas means to you will help you prioritise. Choose to attend events and activities that mean something to you. Just because you baked 2,000 mince pies last year doesn’t mean you have to this year. Be realistic about what you can fit in during your holidays and that will help reduce feelings of stress.

Parents that don’t live together

Deciding who to spend christmas with when your parents don’t live together can be hard. It’s easy to feel like you’re disappointing one of them, whatever you do. Or you could end up eating two dinners!

It’s important to remember that your parents not living together wasn’t your choice or your fault. Don’t ask permission to spend time with your other parent. You need to do what you feel comfortable with and what makes you happy. It’s your Christmas. Speak to your family about how you are going to split your time beforehand.

Seeing your boyfriend/girlfriend

Wanting to see your boyfriend or girlfriend over Christmas can be tricky especially if your family expects you to be home with them. There are ways to balance the two.

You may be able to create a special time to see your girlfriend/boyfriend. This may be on Christmas Eve, Christmas night or St Stephen’s day. You could even plan your own special Christmas together  before or after. There is no reason why you can’t give presents then and make it just as special as Christmas Day.

Catching up with friends

It’s normal to want to catch up with your friends over the holidays, especially if you’ve been away. However your parents may not be so keen on sharing you. The trick is to pre-plan.

Let your family know that spending time with them is important and plan special activities with them. If you tell them in advance which days you’re planning on hanging out with your mates they will appreciate the time they have with you. That is as long as you don’t make family time hangover time.

Fitting in study

After working hard at college for a whole term it’s tempting to forget about all about college work. There are certainly are enough distractions to get away with it. Ignoring them won’t make the assignments, exams and mocks go away.

Try to timetable some study into your holiday season. It being Christmas, there’ll be plenty of treats and fun stuff to reward yourself with.

Planning downtime

Stressful situations are exacerbated by tiredness and irritability. Making sure you get enough sleep and eat healthy is one way to keep your Christmas spirit. Planning quiet time out for yourself to do things that you enjoy is another way to keep the grinch at bay. Try taking a walk to digest that Christmas dinner.

Think of it as your Christmas gift to yourself.