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Top tips to avoid Christmas stress

Be Realistic – Don’t let your dreams of a perfect Christmas get the better of you by keeping your expectations realistic.  Make a list of the things you need to do, and would like to do over Christmas and put the list in order of importance.  Lists are a good way of helping us to put things into perspective.  Holding ideals in our minds just becomes another source of stress.  If you don’t manage to tick off everything on your list, don’t worry, there’s always next year!

Don’t get swept away on the tide of Christmas pressure – Ads on the TV from August and the constant pressure to spend, spend, spend…is exhausting.  It can put an immense pressure on us financially, emotionally, physically and mentally.  To avoid financial stress, set a budget and stick to it.  Start early to give yourself some thinking time (the best presents aren’t always the most expensive!) and more shopping time.  To avoid draining the batteries too early, take some time each day to relax.  5 or 10 mins to clear the mind and refocus will do wonders!  Remember to keep a little of your sparkle back for Christmas.  You won’t have fun if you’re exhausted.  Christmas is not a test of endurance.

Delegate – The key to a stress-free Christmas is to share the workload. Don’t be afraid to delegate to those around you.  Most will be happy to help and if you don’t ask, often they won’t offer!  Present shopping…write a list and let a partner help.  Share the cooking…can a family member make a starter or dessert?  Good Christmases are built on good communication and teamwork.

Don’t be afraid to change things – Just because for the last 10 years you have visited your parents and eaten at 12pm sharp, doesn’t mean you have to again this year!  Talk to everyone involved.  Sometimes a change of routine can really give Christmas its sparkle back.

Dealing with family conflicts – If you don’t get along with certain family members during the year, things won’t improve because it’s Christmas.  Make a decision early so you can make your plans clear to all concerned.  If you have a made a commitment you can’t get out of, set a time limit.  Two hours can often be tolerated without tempers fraying.  If however you are travelling to see family, take a walk or offer to wash-up.  Taking yourself out of a stressful situation for even half an hour can help

Avoid excess – Christmas often means a diet high in sugars, salt and stimulants like alcohol and caffeine.  This can add to our anxiety levels and increase stress.  Remember to balance the good with the bad.  Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and stock up on fresh, healthy foods next time you shop.

Alone at Christmas – Christmas is perhaps one of those times when being alone is the hardest. Don’t be afraid to invite yourself to friends or neighbours even if it’s just for a short visit.  They may not have realised you would like their company. If this isn’t an option, is there a local voluntary group you can get involved with or is there something happening near you on Christmas Day?  If you can’t leave home, remember it is just one day of the year.  Do something to spoil yourself.

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Sam Bailey

X Factor winner with a long list of sell out tour successes under her belt.

The most exciting thing in the world is getting a chance to tear it all up and start again. Keep all the things you want and throw out everything you don’t.

Becky Sheeran

Beauty, lifestyle and fashion blogging sensation Becky Sheeran (TalkBeckyTalk)

It’s great to have a leading psychologist such as Wendy in the Manchester area, outside of her Harley Street practice. After publicly raising awareness of mental health issues and myself recovering from depression, I know how immensely life-changing expert intervention can be.

Jason Jarrett

Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.

Wendy is great at what she does; she made me feel at ease immediately and really helped me work through some issues.

Tara Costello

It’s funny but from the minute I met her I felt so relaxed and she was so easy to talk to. Thank you!

Stevie Brown

Wendy isn’t only really good at what she does, she’s also really easy to talk to.

Gabriel Wilson

I want to thank you Wendy from the bottom of my heart for guiding me through what must have been the most difficult time of my life.

Raza Syed

I was told she was the best and they were right.

Noelle Dray

Although I consider myself a confident person, I was really nervous when I met Wendy for the first time. I had only emailed her before so it was really nerve wracking walking up the stairs to her office. I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever done. Wendy is really normal, no in fact she isn’t normal as she is unfailingly bright and smiley even when she has to listen to me moan on about how awful my life was. It feels like having a chat with somebody who just gets you and you can trust with things you have never trusted anybody else with before. The magic bit comes when things you have talked about just pop up into your head and you start to do things differently. Wendy once joked about not having a magic wand, but I think she has.

Paul Hendry

I came to Wendy with a set of problems I have never been able to fully explain to anyone, which included grief, many family issues and alcohol problems. Wendy truly has an active listening style and absorbs everything you are saying, whilst not making you feel analysed, it is an incredible skill. She astounded me at how she got to the crux of the issues so fast. So much so that we both agreed I only needed one session with her, obviously this may not be the case with everyone but I would confidently recommend her to anyone, regardless of your problems. There was no awkwardness or even clock watching, she is wonderful at what she does, take the plunge and make an appointment, you will not regret it. Life is a direction not a destination and she will get you on the path again.

JB

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