Check your expectations

What are your expectations for the Holiday period and how do the expectations of those around you impact you? Do you expect to experience only joy during this period? Do people around you believe that stress, conflict, and difficult personal processes do not have a place at this time of year? While in some situations, the Holiday period can in fact, bring so much lightness and excitement that people may experience an improvement in their situation, this is not always the case. As with other periods of the year, the Holiday period could bring a mixture of stressful and joyful moments. Being realistic about how much your spending budget should be, about how much energy and time is available is an important way to manage holiday stress.

Give yourself permission to do the things you need

It is possible to get carried away in rituals and traditions that would have shaped how you have spent your past holiday periods. While rituals and traditions can generally be very healthy, perhaps this year, you are finding it particularly challenging to host a Christmas lunch at your home, or perhaps you do not have the energy to go out as frequently as you have done in previous years. Give yourself permission to do what you need. This could be some alone time. Or perhaps setting boundaries so that you have the space to take care of yourself if this is what you need. You may need to talk to people in your life to support you by taking on some of the responsibilities that you may have had in previous years. 

A Self-Care Plan

It is often important to hold onto your pre-existing self-care strategies. Thus, for example, if you are attending therapy appointments, have established a healthy sleep pattern for yourself, or you have been limiting alcohol drinking, it is very important that these strategies are continued even during the holiday period. You may also benefit from additional self-care strategies, especially if the Holiday period is a trigger that gets you in touch with difficult emotions, such as bringing to the surface the pain that comes with bereavement. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Rebecca Cassar is a Family Therapist practising the Systemic Approach. She specialises in offering therapy to families, couples and individuals who are experiencing distress in their relationships. She can be contacted on or call us on 79291817.