I spoke with Ed Phillips, Kelly Landry and Gerald Quigley from The House of Wellness on 2GB this morning talking about how to manage stress and families at Christmas.
Listen to the audio interview here:
5 of My Tips to More Harmony at Christmas Time:
1. When we experience stress the brain and how it responds is important to understand. The amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. This area of the brain communicates with the rest of the body through the nervous system so that the person has the energy to fight or flee. When we have this experience (even mildly) it can affect our ability to communicate effectively. Awareness of this is key to helping make allowances for others (particularly your partner) who may be stressed at this time of year.
2. Be clear on expectations particularly for Christmas Day - couples need to understand what each other thinks Christmas day is going to look like. Are we staying home? Are we visiting others? Are we inviting guests? Are we opening present at midnight or Christmas morning? Who is cooking breakfast? Who is going to drink? Who is driving? - Being very clear about what you both expect of the day can settle everybody as clarity creates some calm.
3. Allocate jobs so that not only one person carries the load and responsibilities that Christmas brings.
4. Someone in the family may not get along so well with someone they don't see all year but will be there Christmas day. This can create some stress and anxiety. Discuss beforehand how you will help protect each other and have each other’s backs should something come up that feels a little uneasy in relation to a particular family member.
5. Talk to children about how Christmas is not always a happy time for everybody, reminding them to have compassion for the old or sick, or a member of the family who has had a sad experience and that giving at Christmas time is as important as receiving.
I hope this time of year brings you all good things including peace for the end of 2016.
For more tips, daily quotes and information about love, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Key To Love for those looking to find a life partner and are looking for some coaching. Love, Life, Relationships & Transformation is my other Facebook page for parents and those in relationships already who like some daily inspiration. Also available is information about couple therapy and how it can help your relationships.