Christmas with family can be bittersweet

Many of us make plans to spend Christmas Day with family but the bickering, boredom and controversy can feel quite stressful. We asked our followers how they make this period more bearable…

Christmas is such a loaded time. Expectations are high – it must all be FUN and FESTIVE and full of CHEER and FUN and JOY. And yet many of us simply feel stressed and – frankly – pissed off with our families. 

People don’t pull their weight; there’s often bickering.

And so it’s interesting that new research from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) reveals that 84% of respondents say spending time with their family over Christmas improves their mental wellbeing. 

And yet 76% reported that family arguments have the worst impact on their mental wellbeing during the festive season. A season on contradictions, it seems.

We asked our Instagram followers how they cope with the family time at Christmas and if they have any tips for reducing the arguments. Here’s what they said…

Jessica Fearnley: “…family is often at the same time the place we are most nurtured and most frustrated. Our family rule is that you need a day of rest between every family visit. It’s a lifesaver!”

Nicola Emmett: “Chocolate helps. I’m splitting the cooking with my mum this year. I think that might bring on an argument!”

Carly Adlington: “I will be journalling big time on the full moon on December 22 to release any pre-formed anxiety I have around family gatherings! Writing gratitude lists daily to keep my mental health up and practising forgiveness. Allowing myself to walk away from situations that are causing stress and trying not to feel bad about it (even just for a five-minute breath).”

Kim Palmer (Clementine co-founder): “I like to have things planned to get out of the house. A visit to another friend’s place so that we all get the benefit from the change of scenery.”

And lastly, one from me: I ensure that each day, I have some time alone. That might mean a jog around the block, walking to the shops to pick up milk or going to my room for 10 minutes to read. I can’t be around people all day long so this helps me to stay calm.

Do you have any tips for staying sane during the Christmas period?

Image from Unsplash

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