Keep Your Cool This Yule

Christmas can be the most stressful time of the year for many people. With this being Anger Awareness Week we have just the tips and tools for you to avoid stress and associated anger this year.

The average family has their first argument by 9.58am on Christmas Day


The most common reasons for increased anger are:

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  • Who is doing the washing up

  • Spending more time than usual with family members

  • Too much alcohol

  • Battles over the TV remote control




Before Christmas Day, remember:

  • It is only one day of the year, you don’t have to have everything perfect!

  • Give yourself and your family a break on Christmas Day by bending or ignoring the rules you aspire to live by. Yes, your children will eat a lot of sugar and almost certainly ignore their sprouts. Don’t worry about it! Yes, your guests may all be tramping mucky shoes through your house. Fine! And perhaps today is the day to let the dog have scraps from the table, courtesy of Granddad. Let it all go! Enjoy the chaos while it lasts. There will be plenty of time to get back on track afterward.

  • Think about what normally angers you around Christmas and try to avoid that situation from happening or find a better way to deal with it.

  • Plan to share out the responsibilities for the day. Assign guests simple tasks, from peeling the spuds to lighting the living room fire or keeping glasses topped up, so you aren’t forced to take responsibility for everything.

  • Do as much prep as you can in advance. A week or so before the guests arrive, check whether you have enough chairs, china, glasses and cutlery for all of them. Will they fit around the table, or should you put up a small temporary table too? Is there space in the fridge for the fresh food you plan to buy, or will you need guests to store and bring some of it themselves?

  • Try to get enough rest before the big day, tiredness can make anyone grumpy

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On Christmas Day:

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  • Don’t drink too much - alcohol can be responsible for lots of arguments.

  • Take deep breaths and count to 10 if you are getting frustrated. Think about the consequences and step back.

  • Focus on the positives; seeing friends and families, eating an amazing dinner, giving and receiving presents and being off work!

  • Turn off the voice in your head listing all the things you should be doing or criticizing you for not making your own mince pies or not getting a bigger tree. Instead, take a minute to watch and enjoy what’s going on around you

Christmas Day can be so full and busy that it’s easy to forget to take five. So be sure to sneak away at some point during the day. Take a short walk or disappear into a quiet room to sit calmly for a few moments, before returning to the action feeling refreshed.


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Davina Kelly