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Surviving the Silly Season


Christmas can be a bit manic. You can see why it's overwhelming when organising a million and one things for the actual day in the context of financial pressure, work deadlines, functions, and organising New Year holidays … A FEW TIPS TO SURVIVE: 🎄 Keep up your SELF-CARE routine – now is NOT the time to stop exercising, micro-breaks & relaxation. If you ‘fill your cup’, you will have more energy to pour back into creating a fun Christmas. 🎄 Watch out for unhelpful “should-statements” in your thinking. EXPECTATIONS need to be realistic based on your current demands and mental state. Christmas is not a competition to please & impress others. 🎄 SIMPLIFY everything – 🔻Plans – try not to overcommit and rush, especially if you have kids. Others should understand. 🔻Gifts - tone it down a notch, e.g., do the ‘secret santa’ game so only need to buy one present or have a present theme (e.g., buy all books, all pampering products or all kitchen accessories) to reduce stress of running around in circles 🔻Food – less is more = less kitchen time, more quality time with your family. 🎄 Use ASSERTIVE communication skills to negotiate Christmas event schedules and delegate tasks. This includes calmy putting yourself in the other person’s shoes (so they feel validated) while expressing exactly how you’re feeling and making specific reasonable requests. Stick together and advocate for your kids. However, please pick your battles - now is not an ideal time to dredge up the year's relationship/in-law resentments. 🎄 RESPECT where you are on the introversion-extroversion continuum. If you need time alone to re-energise after busy social gatherings, prioritise and plan for it. 🎄 Instill a sense of GRATITUDE in your kids and engage in random acts of kindness. For example, your advent calendar could include little tasks such as pick flowers for a neighbour, ring a distant family member, give food/toy to charity, put a thank you note in someone’s letterbox. 🎄 Use MINDFULNESS to enjoy the magical moments – put the mobile/camera down and really immerse yourself in the events. You do not want to miss the excitement that kids have decorating the tree, meeting santa, opening pressies… or the opportunity to relax and have a laugh with your family. Happy Christmas! xx


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Dr Sarah Bell-Booth

Clinical Psychologist

0273462707

dr.sarah.bellbooth@gmail.com

Auckland, New Zealand

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© 2020 by Dr Sarah Bell-Booth. Illustrations by Jay Allen