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By Maria Stoffel, Administrator at The Eaves

Statistics consistently show that all kinds of relationships – spouses, family and friendships – can be put under strain during the festive period. Christmas isn’t necessarily a happy occasion for everybody and if you’re struggling, it’s important to look after your own well-being.

 

Why is there increased pressure on relationships at Christmas?

Financial pressures, spending more time in each other’s company, overindulgence of alcohol and lack of routine can all be contributing factors when it comes to strained relationships and high stress around Christmas. The desire for the whole family to get along with each other (particularly around the pandemic) can add another layer of pressure. Finding some coping mechanisms that work for you is an important way of protecting yourself.

 

How can I cope with the stress at Christmas?

To help avoid overwhelm and anxiety:

  • Try to keep up with any physical routine that you may already have. At Christmas, it’s all too easy to prioritise other things over yourself, but keeping up with habits that nourish you can provide relief.
  • If you don’t currently have any physical routines, making some time to take a walk can not only boost your mood but can also raise your self-esteem and help with sleeping.
  • Talk to somebody you trust about how you are feeling and reach out for help and support. Often, we feel that asking for help is a burden to others, but many are surprised by how much people want to help.
  • Try to carve out some time for your interests and hobbies. When we feel overwhelmed it can be easy to lose sight of the things that bring us joy – Christmas is about you too.
  • Communicate how you feel – the holidays can rekindle previous grievances or resentments from past actions or behaviours. Talking and being as open as possible is vital, as a lack of communication is a common cause of relationship breakdown.

 

Are you struggling at this time of year?

Unfortunately, Christmas isn’t a happy time for everybody and it can sometimes be lonely, upsetting and anxiety-provoking. Talking therapy can help you to process how you feel and provide extra support if you’re feeling vulnerable. At The Eaves, our practitioners offer talking therapy for individuals of all ages, families, couples and young people. They have appointments available 12 hours a day, Monday to Saturday between 9am and 9pm. Please call 01483 917000 or email info@theeaves.org.uk to speak to a member of the referrals team. You can also send us an enquiry via our website.