4 Tips for Surviving the Festive Season

Posted: December 21st, 2014 | Category: General

The festive season can be enjoyable – with good food, great company and maybe an end of year holiday. However, it can also be a very stressful time of year with last minute Christmas shopping, family gatherings and social engagements on all at once. What can you do to survive the festive season and feel like you’ve had the chance to enjoy it?


Here are 4 quick tips that others say they find helpful:Christmas Challenges



 1. Plan Ahead


Christmas shopping can be overwhelming and people find that Christmas can creep up on them, with a lot to do all at once. If that’s the case, whenever you remember something that needs to be done, jot it down and then take some time to prioritise what to do first. For those who find shopping stressful, sometimes going with a friend on a scheduled day can be helpful, or planning to go at a quiet time when there are less people around. Another great tip is to have a few small back-up presents to save you from those situations where someone might arrive unexpectedly with a present for you.



2. Opportunity for generosity and gratitude


Christmas is a time of year when we all have the opportunity to be a little more generous. Research shows that the act of generosity leads to an increase in positive feelings and can benefit our connections with others. Try to think of ways that you can be more giving, like making a batch of Christmas cookies to take into work for everyone, or giving a gift to someone in need. The festive season is also a great time to reflect on who has been helpful to you this past year. Is there a friend you can write a special message to on their Christmas card, or a favourite coffee place you’ve been going to where you can drop off a small thank-you card to the staff?



3. Christmas is a difficult time of year


The festive season is not always the amazing, loving time it’s often portrayed to be in the media. In fact, many people find it to be one of the most difficult times of the year, triggering grief and loss, stress, loneliness and feelings of sadness.  It is important to allow for the possibility for these feelings at this time of year. Good ways to do this are to plan some time during the period to have time out, either on your own or with someone you can relax with, where it’s ok to be upset. Letting yourself have these feelings can then allow you to enjoy other parts of this period, and at least reduces the extra feelings of being upset about being upset at Christmas.



4. Don’t be on your own


If you are concerned about being lonely over Christmas, then do something about it now. Think about whether you can invite a few others over who are in the same situation as you, or find out if you can volunteer to help others in need on Christmas Day. Also, try not to turn down any offers or opportunities to be around others, and plan ahead to have a backup person that you can talk to if you need it.



A final word…


If you become concerned about keeping yourself safe over the holidays, always remember that you are not alone and that there is support available. You can contact Lifeline, Kids Helpline or the Suicide Callback Service. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call the NSW Mental Health line, on 1800-011-511 or dial 000 immediately.


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