Do you have a festive period plan in place?

Q. Does your mental health suffer with the anticipation of Christmas? 

Q. Do you feel like you need to participate in others’ plans because you don’t want to let anyone down?

Q. Do you spend the run-up to the festive period battling unpleasant memories?

Q. Do you dread the festive season because it means spending time with people who bring you down? 

If you answered yes to any of the above, you might like to take a look at number seven of our 12 Core Schemas: 

If you don’t plan your life, you will become destined to become a part of someone else’s plans and what they have planned for you may not be great.

The festive season is intended to be a moment of joy, therefore it is important to acknowledge what would make it a happy time for you. A bit of forward planning can make all the difference. Miscommunication can be a tricky one. So it is important to be clear from the start. Do not leave it until the last minute to let others know your plans. If you have understanding family and friends tell them how you feel and discuss a compromise that will please everyone. However, if you feel you can’t approach them face-to-face due to a possible negative reaction, it might be easier to send a message instead.

Construct what you’d like to say in advance and don’t press the send button until you have read the message several times and are happy with the result. An example might look something like this:

“Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at Christmas, so I am planning to set some time aside for myself this year”, or “Last year was all a bit much for me, so I am going to try something new this year”.

If you have draggers in your life that leave you feeling guilty with statements such as: “You don’t spend enough time with us at Christmas” or “Why aren’t you coming to visit”, it might be a good idea to have a couple of replies prepared. A response that might make interaction easier for you may include:

“Christmas can be an extremely busy time for everyone but I always enjoy your company when we manage to get together” or “How do you fancy planning something special one evening before the craziness gets underway and we are too busy for quality time?”.

There is still plenty of time to get organised, so consider writing down what you would like to do and what will make you happy. You can read more about why putting pen to power is extremely powerful here… 

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