Avanti Counselling & Psychotherapy


Nov 2023



Tis the season to be jolly!  Or is it?  Do you have a lot on your plate to juggle in the upcoming festive season?  Yes! I hear you cry….! Then read on…


Its official, the festive period is upon us!  Every year it seems like we have blinked and we are back to the end of the year again!

How does the thought of the Christmas season make you feel?  Excited? Joyous? Anxious? Dread?

There is so much to think about now in the run up to Christmas like fitting in all of the celebrations and essentials: work dos, friendship groups get togethers, family dos, school activities, presents, finances, food shop, the enforced time with family members you don’t particularly enjoying being around – the list is endless!  And the pressure to do everything with and for everyone can feel pretty overwhelming.  You are not alone.

As the years go on, sometimes we don’t really get to enjoy the festivities in the way that WE want to.  Did you notice in that list above there was no mention of self-care, rest and relaxation or a pyjama day?!  There are only three weekends to cram all of this stuff into in December, it is A LOT!

We get so bogged down with ticking off the lists, we rarely get the chance to rest and decompress at what feels like the busiest time of the year, the time to pause and reflect upon the year gone by.

Here are some tips to help you in the run up to your Christmas festivities and create some balance which we could all benefit from at this time of year:

Socialising.  Think about how many events you are invited to and which ones you feel you want to go to and which you feel you should go to.  Prioritising where you spend your precious time and money can help take a burdon away from the expectations of others.  By saying no to what you don’t want can feel pretty empowering and also leaving you feel happy that you set a boundary for yourself.

Family time.  This is always difficult when it is enforced time together, especially certain members who you don’t want to be around or leave you not feeling good about yourself.  If there is no getting away from it, set specific time parameters of how long you will be there to do the family thing and then leave, hopefully to go and do something for yourself which you would otherwise not had time for.  Make your intentions clear to whoever is hosting so there are no surprises or cause for conflict.

Finances.  We are living in times where money is tighter and the overall cost of getting the basic day to day things done and paid for are at an all time high.  Agree with friends or family members well before December how to navigate this.  I.e. secret Santa with a set cost, agree not to buy for parents as well as children and shopping around for some cheaper alternatives to some of the branded items you usually buy.  Some brands we buy can feel like a non-negotiable, but most items these days can be bought at a much cheaper price for the same quality.

School activities.  The Christmas jumper day, the nativity play, the Christmas party, the Christmas fayre to name a few!  It is hard to choose or eliminate any of these as we want to engage with these as much as the children do!  Look to buy pre-loved Christmas jumpers from sites like Vinted for a fraction of the price and use last years Christmas items you didn’t need instead of buying specifically for the fayre itself.

Self-care.  We all feel frazzled come new years eve after all of the socialising and running around we have done.  Tensions and emotions can run high at Christmas time especially if this Christmas is your first one without a special person sat around the dinner table and the sadness that brings.  Give yourself permission to say no to the things which fill you with dread or anxiety and allow yourself the space you need to catch your breath and pause in the moments you need to.  Self-care is the foundation of everything in order to fulfil what we want to.  Make sure you schedule in that all-important pyjama day!

We don't have to be perfect in our actions to make sure everything is "just right", there is so much societal and media pressure at this time of year, which the Christmas adverts can add to.  Just getting the essentials ticked off is enough.  Time together with family and friends is never perfect, the chaos can be what makes it "just right" for us too.

Enjoy the build up to Christmas your way!


If you would like support or space to discuss any of the difficulties mentioned, please feel free to contact me and take a look at my page - avanticounselling.co.uk


See you next time.



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