We have reached tip 16 on our countdown to a stress free Christmas.

Throughout December we will be offering up advice on how to enjoy a stress free Christmas!

You can catch up on all 21 tips for your stress free Christmas on our website.

Ghosts of Christmas past

There is no escaping that Christmas can be a difficult and highly emotional time for some of us.

Past experiences can change our perspective on the Christmas season and leave us feeling anything but festive.

The pressure to be happy at Christmas can further exacerbate emotions that are already very raw.

Christmas past - unhappy memories of Christmas past

There is no rule to say you must be happy at Christmas. If you do, however, find yourself dreading the festive period it is worth talking to someone about it.

A trusted friend or support group can be a good starting point to express how you are feeling. These can also be opportunities to see how others in similar situations have learned to cope.

Speaking to a professional counsellor is also advisable.

They can help you to manage the difficult emotions you are experiencing and find ways to move forward from the painful experiences that are making Christmas a difficult time for you.

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