Magic family time together around the Christmas tree… Laughter, smiles and love… Christmas never quite lives up to our expectations, does it?! In fact, it’s one of the most challenging times of year for relationships. A recent poll by Relate National said 78% of people in the East Midlands expect Christmas to put pressure on their relationships! And the emotional ups and downs of Covid-19 add pressure this year.
This can be for all sorts of reasons, many of which are mentioned in the video below:
Relate’s Top Tips for Flourishing Relationships Over Christmas
So what can we do to manage our relationships well over Christmas? Here are some top tips to help you:
- Calculate your budget and plan a Christmas you can afford rather than going all out and then worrying about how much you’ve spent.
- If circumstances mean you can’t meet with certain loved ones, talk openly with them about it. Consider arranging a video call on Christmas Day or meet them on another day during the festive period.
- Be sensitive to what people have been through during the pandemic. Look out for family members who may be struggling with their mental health. Give them the option to get involved and let them know you’re there for them, but don’t put pressure on them to be the life and soul of the party.
- Know that the perfect Christmas doesn’t exist so don’t put pressure on yourself to create one.
- Plan some time outdoors so kids can let off steam and everyone can get some fresh air.
- Try setting an intention for Christmas day. For example it might be to ask for help when you need it and accept help when people offer it.
- If you think fall outs are likely, steer clear of discussions about contentious topics, such as politics or religion.
- Plan deliberate space into your Christmas diary for everyone to catch up with themselves. Don’t be afraid to block time out as booked that’s just for you.
- Take a breath! We all need a bit of space at times so why not check out Relate’s Christmas Sanctuary – an online haven which includes a guided meditation, self-help articles and a quiz which you can access if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- If you need to talk to someone impartial about your relationship and wellbeing concerns over Christmas consider Relate’s WebChat service. You can access a 30 minute online chat with a trained counsellor.
- Above all – communicate! Make sure you listen well to one another, creating quiet to connect in the midst of this busy season. This handy guide to good listening is a great starting place for intentional conversations.
Although our offices are closed over the Christmas period, there are plenty of services that can help you manage your mental and relationship health over Christmas. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help, from those around you or from an impartial service when you begin to feel overwhelmed!