Tuesday 10 December 2013

Preparing for Christmas

Anxious about heading home for Christmas? Here are some tips on how to negotiate the festive season...

Plan ahead

You might find that Christmas means a change of routine, from waking up at a different time to having your extended family over to stay. Ask your family about their holiday plans and let them know about any small things they could do over the festive period to make things easier for you. Remember to make time for the things you enjoy, such as meeting friends or going to the cinema.

Look after yourself

With all the changes in routine, going home for Christmas can mean it’s easy to forget about the simple things. Make sure you get enough sleep, keep in touch with your friends and schedule in some ‘me time’ every day.


If you feel a bit cooped up over Christmas, why not explore some of the volunteering opportunities in your area? Lots of charities need extra help at Christmas and it’s a great excuse to meet new people and to do something a bit different that will leave you feeling happy and productive.

Remember what you love about Christmas

Try to focus on the fun aspects of Christmas: playing board games as a family, heading out to Church or going for a walk on Christmas afternoon… anything that you enjoy about the festive season. If this seems difficult, try thinking back to what you enjoyed most as a child - I always used to wake up really early in the morning and sit in my brother’s room reading Harry Potter to pass the time until we were allowed to open our presents. Even though the waking up early part doesn’t tend to happen any more, I still like to read a chapter or two of Harry Potter on Christmas Day… just for old time’s sake.

And relax!

Lastly, don’t forget to give yourself a little time out to relax:

  • Call a friend to wish them Happy Christmas.

  • Escape to your room for a few minutes and spend some time listening to your favourite CD or reading a novel.

  • Indulge yourself: have a long hot bubble bath, paint your nails, put on a face mask or sit back with a mug of coffee and a good book.

  • Relax: meditate for a few minutes or do some relaxing yoga.

  • Head out for a Christmas walk - maybe you have a boisterous puppy in need of exercise, or a young cousin who is bouncing off the walls with excitement… or maybe you just want a few minutes of alone time. Either way it’s always great to get some fresh air, and to be able to wish a few strangers ‘Merry Christmas’ along the way!

So all that remains is to wish you a very merry Christmas - happy holidays everyone! 

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