top of page
  • Writer's picturemindandmoodboxes

Unwrapping the stress: Navigating the challenges of Christmas

The holiday season, with its twinkly lights and festive cheer, is often portrayed as a time of

joy and togetherness. However, for many, the reality of Christmas can be laden with stress

and anxiety. In this blog we’ll delve into the common stressors associated with the festive

season and explore strategies to navigate the challenges, ensuring a more mindful and

enjoyable Christmas experience.

Manage Expectations and Set Boundaries

The holiday season is often accompanied by a barrage of expectations – from hosting the

perfect gathering to finding the ideal gifts. These expectations, whether self-imposed or

influenced by societal norms, can create a considerable amount of stress. Communicate

your limits to friends and family to manage expectations. Politely decline commitments that

may contribute to burnout.

Practice Self Compassion

Amidst the hustle and bustle that the festive season brings, it’s more important than ever to

embrace the spirit of self-kindness, you can start by acknowledging that it’s okay to feel a

range of emotions and giving yourself permission to enjoy the holiday season at a pace that

feels manageable. Engage in mindful practices, such as deep breathing or meditation, to

stay present and navigate potential challenges with a centred mindset.

Plan Ahead

Anticipating the stressors of Christmas and preparing a plan to manage the pressure can

help a more harmonious and relaxed holiday environment. For example, setting a budget

and focusing on meaningful, thoughtful and home-made gifts can alleviate financial

pressure. If you know there are things about Christmas you find difficult such as places,

people or memories, plan ways that will help you to honour your wellbeing and prioritise your own needs.

Take Breaks

The holiday season is notorious for its time demands. From shopping to decorating,

attending social events, and preparing meals, the to-do list seems endless. Be sure to

intentionally schedule breaks to recharge, whether it’s a quiet moment with a cup of tea, a

brisk winter walk or a few minutes of journalling incorporating these moments into the day

can make a significant difference. You can take this opportunity to practice self-compassion

by reminding yourself that it's okay to take time for yourself, even amidst the holiday chaos.

Reach Out

For many, the holidays can amplify feelings of loneliness or grief. The emphasis on

togetherness can be a painful reminder of absent loved or personal struggles. Perhaps

you’re feeling lonely, or you know someone that is? Why not reach out to friends, family, or

even your neighbour. You may find that they appreciate hearing from you just as much as

you enjoy hearing from them.

The Mind & Mood Team have put together a list of useful contacts for anyone that is struggling with difficult feelings. A printable version is also available under the tab Free Resources on the Mind & Mood website, if you think it could help you or someone you know why not print it off and keep it somewhere accessible.

Useful Contacts for Support

For additional support during the holiday season, here are some useful contacts:

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)

0800 58 58 58

Cruse Bereavement Support

0808 808 1677


0800 138 7777 (English), 0800 138 0555 (Welsh), 18001 0800 915 4622 (text relay)


116 123 (freephone), Freepost SAMARITANS LETTERS


85258 (text SHOUT)

Stand Alone

Charity supporting adults who are estranged (not in contact) from their family.

The Trussell Trust

0808 208 2138 (Help through Hardship helpline)

The Silver Line

0800 4 70 80 90, Provides support, information, friendship and advice for anyone aged over

55 who may feel lonely or isolated.

12 views0 comments
bottom of page