Yes, stress does indeed spread within a family unit, just like portraying signs of being relaxed and calm is contagious. In order to ensure you have a peaceful Christmas it is important your own stress is reduced. Initially, show your children you can acknowledge that you are indeed being stressed. This is a great first step but don’t stop there. Remember to take the next in the process or else you are at risk of using your stress as an excuse for acting rash and inappropriately.
How to cope with stress
The trick, and the next step, is to get your stress under control, down to a manageable level. From therapy you can learn to identify your response to stress triggers, how to alter your behaviour in stressful situations and how to appreciate peaceful moments. Therefore, don’t delay – lead by example and infuse some calm and relaxation into your family life, I am confident you will soon notice a positive change in all family members.
To reduce your immediate stress levels related to Christmas, take some time out for yourself, make lists and plans to ensure you have everything covered, and that you are sticking to your set budget. Also, delegate jobs, don’t attempt to be a super hero! And how about jumping onto the latest craze – colouring in – get those books out, find your crayons and notice how endorphins will flood your system, making you more relaxed.