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Top tips for managing the festive season

Some tips on how to avoid feeling overwhelmed during a busy festive season.

Organisation and planning

Christmas is a busy time of year. It can feel very overwhelming trying to make it to lots of different events and parties, ensure we have all the presents we want to give people and make sure we don’t spend more money than we can afford.

Taking time to plan in advance will help you keep on top of all of this. Having a calendar to put important dates in can help you stay on track and remind you where you should be and when. This could be a paper diary or the calendar on your phone with alerts, if this also helps.

Write a list of who you want to buy presents for and what you want to buy them, so you’re not feeling overwhelmed when you hit the shops (or the world of internet shopping!). This will also help you to keep within your budget. You’ll know exactly what you can spend on each person and won’t be left making last-minute decisions in a panic.

However, the most important thing with this is to ask for help if you need it. It’s much easier to sit down with someone and go through all of this to keep it feeling manageable.

Looking after yourself

In this busy season, it’s easy for us to get swept away with the excitement and end up doing much more than we would normally do. Try to remember to check in with your body and be aware of what it might be trying to tell you, especially if you know that fatigue or pain is a problem for you.

Spread out activities so that you have rest days in between. Take a bit of time each day to relax and have some time out. Remember what it is that makes you feel calm and make sure you spend a bit of time doing that throughout the holidays.

Remember that you don’t have to do everything. It is okay to say no if you don’t feel up to something. Be patient with yourself – it might be frustrating that you can’t do everything but if you take a bit more time (e.g. doing three or four shopping trips rather than expecting to do it all in one go) you will achieve more.

It might not be everything you want it to be

If there are any, acknowledge any sad or difficult feelings you have about how Christmas might not be how you wanted it to be, how you may feel different from the people around you and the difficult challenges you may face. Talking about these feelings rather than keeping them inside may help, but if even this feels too difficult then just writing them down or video recording your thoughts may be helpful.

Finally, be kind to yourself. Taking some time to look after yourself is a Christmas gift you can give to yourself.

A member of our Support & Information Team provides support over the phone to somebody affected by a brain tumour diagnosis

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