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Christmas and the Festive Season can be a wonderful joyous and social time rich with positive emotions. Positive emotional experiences are very important for our psychological wellbeing and our physical health. This time of year with its many social gatherings, family time and possible summer adventures, can fill up your tank which may be depleted by stress and demands from the year. However, for many people this time of year can be very difficult and I have at least six clients who dread Christmas and wonder how to manage the “obligatory” family event.  The theme was TLC so now is a good time to poor it on yourself so you feel strong and resilient and can enjoy the positives that summer and the seasopn can bring.  Keep focused on your wellbeing- be your own star.

Some helpful tips include:

• Plan ahead so you can follow-up a stressful demanding event with something that you really enjoy doing

• Arrange time with the people in your life who make you feel positive

• Make time to spoil and care for yourself

• Let go of the history of past negative experiences and patterns of behaviour and trying something new

• Take a guest support person as a new person will always change how the group interacts

• Limit your exposure to negative interactions- change seats at the dining table or be there only for the essential time- arrange events in neutral territory

• Making alternative plans is always an option- but best done in advance and give family plenty of notice so they can manage their own expectations

Best wishes for the festive season and travel safely through any events and holidays