10 top tips to help families cope over Christmas
1 – Say ‘NO’ without feeling guilty
There are only 24 hours in a day, and we only have a finite amount of time, energy, and resources. It’s ok to say no to things to allow yourself some down time. Which leads us on to…
2 – Scheduling down time
There is so much going on over Christmas that we sometimes get to January and return to work and school feeling like we need another break! Make sure to make time in your hectic days to do something that recharges your batteries.
3 – It’s ok (and actually quite brave) to ask for help
Asking for a helping hand is not a weakness. It shows our children that it’s ok to need support sometimes and, on the whole, people love to help out. So, when they offer, say YES!
4 – Establish boundaries
At Christmas, it seems everyone wants a chunk of your time and attention but it’s important to establish boundaries and make sure that your time and energy is spent with those you love and who give you a boost. We all have people we need to see that sap our energy but it’s ok to keep those get-togethers short and sweet. You don’t need to make excuses. Telling them that you’ll only be able to pop in for an hour without an explanation is ok.
5 – Strive for enjoyment, not perfection
There is no such thing as perfect so lower expectations and try to find the funny side of those times when things don’t go to plan. They are the times you will remember the most.
6 – Get outside
Going for a walk, however cold it is or however much you are comfortable on the sofa, has so many benefits. Connecting with nature is a powerful way to ease frayed tempers, get the blood flowing and it’s a great excuse for a hot chocolate when you get home!
7 – Delegate, delegate, delegate
If you have a list as long as your arm of things that need to be done and everyone else seems to be taking it easy, don’t be afraid to delegate some of your tasks. Children are capable of much more than we give them credit for, and does it really matter if the cutlery is the wrong way round on the table or Grandma has no fork but 2 spoons?
8 – Practice gratitude
It’s very easy to forget to feel grateful when the children are squabbling, you’ve been asked for the 100th time that day for a cup of tea from the relatives you have staying, and someone always seems to be hungry but try to take a minute or two to count your blessings. Thinking of 3 things you are grateful for each day is incredibly empowering and a wonderful habit to keep up all year.
9 – Do no more than what feels achievable
This relates to our points about setting boundaries and delegation. It’s far too easy to say yes to more than we can actually manage at this time of year so only have things on your TO DO list that you know you can achieve that day. Even better still, don’t have a To DO list but write a HAVE DONE list at the end of each day. You’ll be surprised how much you achieved.
10 – Remember the Circle of Control
We all like to feel in control of situations but in reality, we only have control over our own thoughts, feelings and actions. This is really important to remember when we are doing all the things listed above. Doing what is right for you and your family may feel a little uncomfortable if you are used to agreeing to everyone else’s demands at this time of year but remember, if other people don’t like the decisions you have made, that is their problem to solve, and you have no control over that. No one can make you feel guilty unless you allow them to.
We hope these tips will help you have a happy and peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2023 for more FREE courses to help you in your parenting role.