Christmas is the most stressful time of the year for many people.
Statistically more than half of families have disagreements during this festive period.
The average family have their first argument at 9.58am on Christmas Day morning.
Most likely reasons for increased anger during the Christmas period are...
Spending more time with family than usual
Too much alcohol
Feeling overwhelmed and/or tired
Cooking for more people than usual
Feelings of disappointment
Too much noise due to over excited children/family members
1. Manage expectations - Financial stress increases because the Christmas list is far greater than what you can afford. To avoid disappointment on Christmas day, help your child write their list taking into account your budget. Don't over spend. Maybe you could hand make a gift for others.
2. Queue jump - Avoid last minute shopping spree, not only will the chaos of other shoppers increase stress and anger levels, you're more likely to over spend.
3. Cutback commitments - Know what you can cope with. You do not have to go to every Christmas event, choose the ones that won't zap your energy levels.
4. Share - Sharing the load with another, elevates pressure on you. If this is not possible, confiding in someone else will help you to rationalise your worries.
5. Healthy mind - Exercise, go for a walk, read a book, any activity that helps you to stop and rest.
8. Avoid excess - Too much alcohol and food, particularly rich and sugary food, can lead to mood swings and dips in general wellbeing. Be mindful of this and drink plenty of water.
9. Think ahead - What normally gets you stressed or angry at this time of year? Planning ahead and considering the bigger picture could make a positive difference in the way in which you communicate and handle previously difficult people and situations.
10. Relax - Don’t give yourself a hard time about making Christmas perfect. The responsibility doesn’t rest with one person and it’s worth always remembering that for most, it’s just one day of the year.
If you feel yourself getting angry, take yourself out of the situation. It takes more than one person to have an argument, if you take yourself away you'll have no one to argue with.
Take deep breaths and count backwards from 10 if you are getting frustrated.
Look for the positives – seeing family / friends, the memories the children will have of happy Christmases, and the meal itself, which research says is the most enjoyable part of Christmas for many people.
Have a nap later in the day, sleep deprivation is a major cause of unhealthy anger.
STOP, THINK - Take a look at the bigger picture - Many people observe a situation and react before taking time to see what is really happening. They do not see the whole situation for what it is. When you stop and look at the whole picture, you will find that you see life from a different perspective than just your own.
It's OK to have a different opinion - Opinions are not facts. They are beliefs and interpretations of your feelings. They are developed from your likes and dislikes. They are different for everyone. You should not be angry about another person’s opinion.
Listen actively - When you're speaking, you're not listening and that means you're not learning what the other person's wants and needs are.
Don't take things personally - Nothing others do or say is because of you. What others do or say is a projection of their own reality onto you.