Christmas time is fast approaching! This means spending more time with family and friends, eating delicious festive treats, and being away from work and school. For some people, Christmas is a joyous and fun-filled time spent with family and friends. However, for others, the pressure of familial expectations, gift-giving, and the loss of loved ones can cause depression, loneliness, and disappointment. To help you and your family navigate the chaos of Christmas, here are 3 tips to help you remain calm and thrive, not just survive this festive season.
1. Prepare in Advance
One way to reduce the havoc that comes with the hustle and bustle of Christmas is to plan, prepare, and organise what needs to be done in advance. Keeping track of when, who, and what's happening, can be particularly helpful for neurodivergent children, since they can often have difficulty adjusting to the changes in routine that come with the holiday season. By having a plan in place, you can give them the heads up on the activities for the day, which can assist in their affect and behavioural regulation.
2. Setting Healthy Boundaries
During the festive period, it can be challenging to juggle our own needs, with our worries about letting others down and managing the conflicting expectations and needs of many people. If attending parties, events, or social interactions is detrimental to your well-being and enjoyment at this time, it is okay to politely decline them. Acknowledge any discomfort or difficult emotions that arise as a result of setting healthy boundaries and show compassion to yourself.
As humans, we cannot accomplish everything, and sometimes we feel as if we need more hours in the day. During the festive season, a time focused on giving and catering to the needs of others, we can often forget to look after ourselves. Showing compassion to ourselves through self-care can ensure that we are more equipped to manage the stressors or chaos that comes our way. Try to schedule in time for stress-reducing activities you enjoy such as walking in nature, listening to music, or reading a good book!