My Top 3 Tips to sur-THRIVE-ing Christmas

This is not the first tip, just an option for those who think ignoring an issue makes it go away. For the next month stay in bed, pull the covers over your head, put your fingers in your ears, and chant “I’m not Christmasing, I’m not Christmasing”.

For the rest of us, throw those covers off, jump out of bed and thrive this Christmas! Too much, I get you, how about making Christmas less excruciating painful? Okay, new blog title:

Top 3 Tips to avoid an Excruciatingly Painful Christmas

Disclaimer, despite being a wealthy chicks blog, none of the tips are finance related. This is not to say that finances don’t make people anxious at Christmas, but Christmas is a minefield of emotions, loneliness, family pushing your buttons, and not meeting (unreasonable?) expectations.

Tip 1: Manage Your Triggers

Knowing and managing your personal triggers is important because Christmas is rife with so many incidents, big and small, that can easily set us off. The ensuing fallout can range from minor, we offend strangers, to the major where we cause long term damage to our most important relationships.

Triggers range from the long queues, family members who really know how to push our buttons, shoppers who should not be in control of a trolley, no parking, not knowing what to buy anyone, not a single person, tell me:

what the hell does everyone want for Christmas!!!!!!

wpid-christmas-shopping-stress

See, I mean where did that come from? It can happen to even the very patient, you’ve seen it, Aunty Jan is the 6th relative in 5 minutes to ask if you FINALLY have a boyfriend! Explosive freak out ensues; you cry and Aunty Jan storms off in anger. So how do you manage this?

Repeat after me, in a calm and confident voice (in your head, not shouted at Aunty Jan):

This does not trigger me

For me these words are instantly calming and give me back my power. It’s my decision not to let:

  • Aunty Jan’s questions about my continuing lack of a boyfriend upset me;
  • the long queue at the counter test my patience; or
  • the person who parks their mini across two bays turn me in to a screaming banshee.

Note: I believe karma exists and the mini parking hogger will jump out of bed on Christmas morning, in bare feet, landing on a Lego covered timber floor.

lego-fire-walk

Tip 2: Speak Up – Share – Ask for help

I know what you are thinking, I have cheated and combined 3 tips in to 1. Not true, this will all come together, hopefully, and anyway your critique does not trigger me!

This tip is about being open, honest and the hard part, admitting that we are vulnerable. If Tip 1 hasn’t worked and you have any sort of stress or struggle open up and talk to someone. This could be with a family member, friend, co-worker, counsellor or the amazing people who work on crisis lines. No matter who you choose, a problem openly discussed is the first step to solving a problem.

Have you noticed that when you share a problem these are the benefits:

  • the problem immediately feels a bit smaller and not as overwhelming. Sometimes the hardest part of the problem is just saying it out loud;
  • the other person gets it, they understand, and you don’t feel so silly;
  • they themselves felt that way, or know someone else who did, so you don’t feel alone; and
  • they help you come up with solutions

Do not use the excuse that people are too busy at Christmas as a reason for bottling things up. I think the next tip might help you overcome that negative thinking.

Tip 3: Give Back

give_orig

There are countless ways to be generous at Christmas and it is scientifically proven that when we give to others we also benefit by improving our self-esteem and lowering stress, bonus! Here’s a few options for giving back this Christmas:

  • Genuinely ask how someone is, listen, and provide a supportive environment for those who need help. Being there for someone is the most powerful act of giving you can provide
  • Donate gifts or food to charity
  • Donate your time to wrap presents
  • Help out at a charity lunch, an example is the Salvo’s Christmas Day lunch
  • Host an “Orphans” Christmas lunch for your friends who are away from home
  • If you are at home, help your Mum!

In closing you can control your Christmas experience, repeat after me:

  • “This does not trigger me”
  • “I will speak to someone if I get anxious or stressed”
  • “I am giving and worth giving to”

For those who do need help with their Christmas finances I’ll be launching my Christmas specials soon.

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