TWO FAC­TORS THAT ADD TO STRESS DUR­ING CHRIST­MAS ARE:

Great Health Guide - - MINDSET -

1. The ef­fect of so­cial me­dia.

We have a love/hate re­la­tion­ship with so­cial me­dia and for good rea­son. It can cause us to feel less able, less im­por­tant, less suc­cess­ful. Re­mem­ber that ev­ery pic­ture does not tell the story. Some­times it takes many at­tempts to get ev­ery-one smil­ing!

2. Fac­ing change and loss.

There are com­plex sit­u­a­tions that add a de­gree of dif­fi­culty that make it hard to tol­er­ate too. The first Christ­mas with­out a child, par­ent, part­ner or friend can be over­whelm­ing. It is vi­tal that you take care. It is at times like these that sup­port is needed and ask­ing for help is nec­es­sary as peo­ple can be slow to of­fer some­times (not want­ing to in­trude) but will of­ten re­spond if asked.

TIPS TO HAVE A STRESS-FREE CHRIST­MAS. 1. Prepa­ra­tion.

• Do what you can in the days be­fore so that calm­ness reigns.

• Ac­cept of­fered help; peo­ple like to feel use­ful.

• Ask for help; don’t be a mar­tyr, some­times help­ing en­ables guests to feel more com­fort­able.

Know your lim­i­ta­tions.

• It is vi­tal to keep a sense of per­spec­tive.

• Do they re­ally need all those toys to be con­tent and com­plete? So, be­ware of get­ting caught up in the hype.

• Do you re­ally need to be the singing, danc­ing host? Some­times short cuts re­ally work. It is pos­si­ble to cheat in prepa­ra­tion and it be a to­tal suc­cess. This will chal­lenge the per­fec­tion­ist, but more com­pli­cated doesn’t mean bet­ter if you are stretched al­ready.

Al­co­hol.

• Ex­cess al­co­hol can com­pli­cate sit­u­a­tions.

• It can cre­ate a sense of bravado that can back-fire.

• Used as a con­fi­dence booster, it only takes one too many to tip the sit­u­a­tion into a dis­as­ter.

• If al­co­hol is a prob­lem, en­sure you have plenty of non-al­co­holic al­ter­na­tives. Many non-al­co­holic beers look the same, so it is less ob­vi­ous.

Fam­ily.

Fam­i­lies are com­plex in their make-up and vis­i­tors who don’t visit very fre­quently can bring up many is­sues.

• Keep it sim­ple, don’t get drawn into deep and mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions that are provoca­tive.

• Take care of ‘old stuff’ that can arise. • Try to stay in adult mode. Our in­ner child can arise when faced with re­mem­bered child-hood dif­fi­cul­ties.

• Be­ware of com­par­i­son, since per­ceived suc­cess may just be a mask.

• Once again take it steady with the al­co­hol.

• Be­ing with a fam­ily is not al­ways pos­si­ble. So here are a cou­ple of fi­nal thoughts for those who are alone.

• Look out for those who are alone, maybe there is space for one more at your ta­ble.

• If you are sin­gle and alone, have you con­sid­ered help­ing in a lo­cal project that pro­vides a meal on Christ­mas day?

• In­vite other sin­gle friends for a Christ­mas shared meal.

• You can have a stress-free Christ­mas.

Susie Flash­man Jarvis is an Ex­ec­u­tive Coach and coun­sel­lor us­ing Skype to reach clients across the globe. Susie is pas­sion­ate about bring­ing change and is an am­bas­sador for Re­stored, end­ing vi­o­lence against women. Susie is in de­mand as a speaker and work­shop fa­cil­i­ta­tor and can be con­tacted at her web­site.

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