The Christmas period can be a stressful and even upsetting time of year for some people depending on their personal experiences with this time of year.

There are several reasons as to why people may find the Christmas period difficult. Such as:

  • Financial Worries
  • Estrangement
  • Bereavement
  • Past Trauma
  • Health Problems

Managing your expectations during the Christmas period can help with preventing the negative impact that unrealistic expectations can have on our mental health.

Here are some tips on how you can manage your mental health throughout the Christmas period:

Be realistic about Christmas gatherings:

Time with loved ones can be wonderful but it can also be stressful. There is no rule that says things will be perfect just because it is Christmas. The pressure that surrounds this time of year can leave tempers running short. Try to enjoy time with loved and don’t expect everything to be perfect or easy. Take things as they come. Accept it may not all be wonderful. It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling and allow yourself to feel all the emotions they may present over the holidays.

Set limits: 

Limit your budget for gifts, food, etc. Financial worry is one of the biggest factors in causing stress and worry at Christmas. Understand your limitations and don’t put yourself out of pocket just because of the societal pressure to spend big at Christmas. Limit your commitments and events, don’t burn yourself out. Understand your social battery and allow time for yourself to recharge. Limit the time you give; you still need time for yourself. You do not have to participate in everything. Allow yourself some time to be alone or to rest and clear your mind.

Avoid comparisons: 

Everyone does Christmas differently. Making comparisons to others is unhelpful. How many parties you go to, how much money you spend, how many decorations you have… the list goes on. It does not help to compare yourself with others. Instead, try to focus on what you have and being grateful for this

Allow Yourself to Say No

Say no when you are not able to help with something such as preparing meals, last minute shopping, gift wrapping etc. Don’t push your limits if you are starting to feel burnt out or overwhelmed. No one can expect you to do more than you can.