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Coping at Christmas

Christmas isn’t always easy. Sometimes family dynamics can come to the fore, making the festive period particularly challenging. Perhaps you’re coping with loss at Christmas. Or perhaps it is the volume of things to be done and expectation you’re finding challenging. If you’re feeling overwhelmed during the festive season,  Dr. Rebecca Ferguson shares her tips for coping.

1. Try to be your to be mindful of your emotions when they are building up or becoming overwhelming, let your emotion just be for a while, experience it just as it is and then remember a time when you didn’t feel this way and remind yourself you won’t feel this way forever.

2. Remember to take some time out for yourself whether this is a few minutes or an entire day. Make sure this is a mental break as well as a physical break.

3. If you are planning events make sure to have a schedule and stick to it so as not to become overwhelmed.

4. Use your social supports at this time, it is more than likely others are feeling the same or a similar way.

5. Validate your emotions not judge them, it is understandable you feel this way but don’t necessarily act on the emotion.

How do I take a break?

Here are some practical ways to take a break amid the festivities:

1. Have a hot chocolate, fruit flavoured tea, fruit juice etc. and fully focus your mind on the smells and tastes of the drink, notice any other thoughts coming and simply let them go bringing your mind back to your drink.

2. Take a bubble bath and concentrate on the smells and sounds around you. Focus.

3. Take a walk.

4. Have a massage

5. Look at some art work or other appealing pictures.

6. Listen to music.

7. Watch a movie.

8. Buy some flowers and display them. 

9. Focus only on your breath for a few minutes, observing the air filling and leaving your lungs, you may repeat the word relax on your outward breath.

10. Read a book or short story.

 Remember this too shall pass. 

Dr. Rebecca Ferguson, Forensic Psychologist, Vivamus.



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