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5 More Tips for being Resilient this Christmas


More tips for Christmas resilience

Following on from our last blog – 5 Tips for being Resilient this Christmas – we thought we'd be kind and offer you 5 more to help you build your resilience for the festive season.

1. Don't get stuck Caught in a Trap

Try to avoid getting caught in thinking traps. These are unhelpful thought patterns which lead to stress. For example, you make be prone to 'catastrophising' (we always argue at Christmas, we must have a terrible marriage), 'predicting' (if I don't get all these presents wrapped this evening I won't be able to cope and everything will be ruined), or 'mind reading' (I know my mother-in-law thinks I'm useless and a terrible wife). If you catch yourself thinking this way, take a deep breath and remind yourself it's going to be fine.

2. And Breathe...

Talking of breathing, get into the habit of taking a few deep breaths every so often during the day. Breathe deeply into your diaphragm counting to seven as you breathe in, then slowly breathe out as you count to eleven (sometimes known as 7/11 breathing). It may sound silly but it can make a real difference in your ability to cope with stress. Try putting post it notes where you'll see them to remind you to stop and breathe deeply.

3. Limit your Alcohol Intake

Don't start too early and then have a glass of water or soft drink in between alcoholic drinks. Over the festive season try to have one or two alcohol free days and watch the home measures – doubles are often triples or quadruples when we pour them at home! Too much alcohol effects your sleep and lack of sleep makes you less resilient and able to cope, not to mention the way it lessens our inhibitions, which can lead to all kinds of trouble.

4. Be Aware of your Moods

Our moods are our internal calls to action, or sometimes inaction and acceptance. The stresses of the festive season can lead to frayed nerves in everyone, people we love have the potential hurt us or make us angry with a seemingly throw away comment – my Dad has something of a reputation for doing this to me every Christmas, usually when we're all sat around the table eating Christmas lunch! – try to take a moment to reflect on your feelings and whether they're actually related to what just happened. Developing a sense of perspective and acceptance by dealing with our emotions more consciously allows us to deal with irritations rationally, and avoid seeking solace by burying our head in the Quality Street tin.

5. Be Mindful

Last, but not least, why not make this the moment that you discover mindfulness? We've talked about mindfulness before and there is plenty of evidence that shows how being mindful can help combat stress and even depression. There are Apps, such as Headspace and Breathe, or you can find a whole load of books with a simple Google search. Look at mindfulness as the perfect, and well deserved, Christmas gift to yourself.

Building resilience


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