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Christmas is listed as a stressful life event. So whilst the festive season may be a wonderful and joyous time for some people enjoying warm social/family gatherings, it can be a traumatic and stressful period for others.

There are multiple reasons way this time of year becomes some people’s worst nightmare. Unsure how to manage the family / social / holiday period – plan ahead. Be proactive and address your need for ‘protection’.

• Be kind and nurture yourself – build self-compassion

• Book time with people/places where you feel good so you can top up your positive experiences

• Try something new – shake it up, arrange things at a different time / place – or get out of town

• Volunteer or support a charity organisation to assist others

• Take along a guest support person to obligatory events

• Limit your exposure to negative interactions – change seats, be busy helping so you can move around, set a time to leave

• Give yourself a gift or treat just because you are you

Best wishes and travel safely through any events and holidays, and may 2016 be a year of health, kindnesses and joy.