RELAX: Don't let Christmas holiday stress get the better of your celebrations.
RELAX: Don't let Christmas holiday stress get the better of your celebrations. Agency

9 ways to survive Christmas Day

TOO much sugar, alcohol, money spent of gifts and time with people whose only connection with you is family - it's no wonder December 25 is day so many of us go into meltdown.

If we believe even only half the advertising that this is the happiest time of the year, we'd all go raving mad.

Yes, for many Christmas is a wonderful day filled with family and friends and celebrated with lovely gifts, good food and fun times.

But for some people it can be a challenge, so look out for your friends and neighbours as you celebrate with your family over Christmas and new year.

And look after yourself too.

9 ways to survive Christmas

1. Adjust your expectations - No family ever has a perfect Christmas. If Uncle Frank always goes on about rugby, refugees or religion, try a new tactic, such as asking him about something in his life you want to hear about. You may both be surprised.

2. Be the change you want - If you'd like a lunch without arguments, then don't rise to the bait. Avoid known triggers, instead, have some topics of general interest ready to toss in for family meal discussion.

3. Ask for help - Instead of cooking the whole lunch, ask everyone to bring something and show off their inner Jamie or Nigella.

4. Cultivate compassion - Be kind. Behind that sneer could be someone suffering anxiety or depression.

5. Set boundaries - Don't drink too much, ignore what you can, politely change the topic or move away where appropriate without compromising your personal boundaries.

6. Cut your family some slack - If teens want to spend Christmas afternoon with video games, get them to teach the relatives. Who knew Aunt Barbara was such a demon at Halo?

7. Cut yourself some slack - You deserve it.

8. Invite others - Invite lone friends and neighbours to join the celebrations.

9. Be extra careful - It's the time of the year when everyone feels the pressure, so take care driving and crossing roads.

FOR HELP:

Lifeline Australia: 131114

National Alcohol & Other Drug hotline: 1800250015

DVConnect Womensline: 1800811811

Mensline Australia: 1300789978

Kidsline: 1800551800

Online drug/alcohol counselling: counsellingonline.org.au