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Coping with Christmas (without going crackers!)

– Maxine Morrey

Well, it’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? Definitely not what we were expecting when we rang in the New Year and now Christmas is nearly upon us again. It’s certainly going to be a different experience this year for many, even with the temporary relaxation of some rules. However, this is a time of year that while a celebration, can sometimes also be a source of strain and stress. Coming at the end of what has already been a very difficult year, here are a few tips to help get you through the season a little more calmly.


  • Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to. If you’re not comfortable, or don’t feel safe getting together with others, then don’t. You’ll only be sat there worrying that you might be passing something on or putting yourself at risk so won’t be enjoying yourself. Just explain calmly that, right now, you don’t feel comfortable, but you’d love to say hi via Skype, or one of the other myriad of video options now available.


  • If you are part of a group celebration and it’s all getting a bit much, take some time out. Go and sit quietly in another room, or better still, take yourself off for a walk. The exercise and fresh air will help calm and reset your system. If there’s a dog in the household, that’s a bonus as it’s the perfect excuse and you’ll have some company.


  • Many of us have spent this past year being frustrated, angry or upset – and sometimes all three – at what we haven’t been able to do. If you’re used to a full festive season with lots of socialising then it’s likely these feelings are going to be pretty close to the surface right now. However, focusing on all the things we can’t do only makes us feel worse about it and risks sucking the joy out of the season entirely. Instead, try and focus on what can be done safely without putting either you or anyone else at risk. Make the most of what you have, within the restrictions, staying thankful for those things and people. You may have to have your traditional after dinner family games via video links this year but at least you can still have them and see your loved ones in some form. Sadly, not everyone will be able to do that, so it’s important to focus on the good and the possible.


Things will change and get better but, in the meantime, it’s still vital that we keep each other as safe as possible so that that day comes sooner rather than later.

Wishing you a calm, safe, and happy celebration! And here’s to a brighter New Year!


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