“'Tis the season to be stressful"

“'Tis the season to be jolly”?... and yet it is often the most stressful and fraught time of the year, with very high expectations of the ‘perfect Christmas’: thrilling gifts, unforgettable meals and enjoyable loving family times. We can end up at best feeling disillusioned with the whole experience or at worst in a nightmarish tangle of conflict with our partners and relatives, that causes intense stress and can even lead to the divorce courts.

These unrealistic expectations place a burden on our relationships, as we strive to create the ‘chocolate box’ family Christmas, for ourselves and our families. At the same time, we may be trying to give everyone the gifts and Christmas they want resulting in financial strains that loom large in the New Year.

It could be that you have lost someone dear to you this year and Christmas is a painful reminder of the gaping hole that is left now in your family. How can you celebrate when life is now so bleak and gray without them?? Perhaps your relationship or marriage has broken up, leaving you alone and bewildered, when all those you around seem to be having such a good time.? Concerns about the impact of stresses and strains on the younger members of your family may be bothering you and rightly so. Children and young people are very vulnerable to grief, conflict and friction within the family even though they may appear to be coping well. They might appreciate somewhere outside of the family where they can talk freely, easing the pressure on them.?

However you experience Christmas this year, this could be the right time to take a thorough look at how things are working out for you in your life. The chance to explore what is most important to you and find ways to cope with your unique pressures could be the very best gift you could give to yourself and your loved ones this Christmas.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Basingstoke, Hants, RG22
Written by Joy Perry, MBACP (accred.) Bsc. (Hons)
Basingstoke, Hants, RG22

I’m a fully qualified and accredited therapeutic counsellor.

Other qualifications:

CPCAB Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling
Certificate in using Counselling Skills with Children using the Arts
Certificate in Christian Counselling
Sick Children’s Nursing
BSc. (Hons) Nursing

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