Christmas can be stressful for various reasons, but there are things you can do to reduce that stress.


Sadly, Christmas isn't a time of celebration for everyone. For some, it can range from stress because of complicated family dynamics to the prospect of facing another Christmas alone. Dr Ruth Wells from UNSW Sydney's School of Psychiatry said the family could be a source of trauma or sadness for some people. There are ways, however, to help manage this:

Be kind to yourself. It's important to be kind to yourself and acknowledge that you may need help and support may to get through this period.  

Plan using appropriate techniques. Think ahead about building a plan for yourself and about how to respond if difficult situations arise.

Mindfulness and grounding techniques. Practise some calming strategies in the lead up to the event so that you can feel confident using them if the going gets tough.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The ACT framework helps you identify your values and how you can move towards them when life throws you curve balls.

Seek support. For those who rely on ongoing support services (such as a psychologist), the Christmas shutdown period may cause distress. So, it's important to be aware of phone services available over Christmas to support you if required.

Keep busy. Work can be something we rely on for social interaction and to provide meaning in our lives, so the holiday period shutdown can sometimes lead to feeling a bit down. Getting together with others and staying physically active can be great ways to alleviate loneliness.   

Dr Wells notes that: 'Sudden drops in physical activity can lead to sudden mood drops, so find a nice and enjoyable way to move your body'.


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