Nice Life Reminders Pip-Life

5 ways to not freak out this Christmas and holiday season

Meet Me At Mike's Christmas Decorations

Are you feeling the wave of weirdness that Christmas can sometimes be? If not – hooray! If so – read on for a few tips to help this time of year be less fraught.

5 ways to not freak out this Christmas

1/ Take to your bed as often as possible

Okay. I don’t mean forgo Christmas lunch altogether and hide under the doona, but honestly the importance of NAPS and SLEEP are gravely underestimated in this very show-off-y and busy-boasting world.

Know that resting will make you much more able to move breezily and often merrily through life in the long run and give yourself permission to sleep in and generally snooze as much as possible.  Make it a priority.

2/ Create a little mantra

I’m not super woo-woo, but I do benefit from reminding myself that some things are just NOT about ME and need not be my undoing. It can be easy to look for PROOF that the world is a bit sucky and people are CRAP, but in reality you don’t even have to be that vigilant or go that deep.

Giving yourself a for-your-own-good little talking to, something along the lines of “Don’t get into this” or “Shake it off for best results” is often helpful and prevents getting bogged down/spiralling issues with people you know/encounter at this heady time of year. We’re looking at you and your judgey-eyes and sneaky sharp tongue, rarely-seen Aunty Mervyn.

Dolly and Mr T

3/ Get a bit fancy and fortify yourself

Look, I am not sure what it takes for you. Perhaps it is sparkly shoes? A fancy hair bow? A very nice lipstick? A specky Christmas jumper? Socks with Santas on them?

For me it’s usually a merry dedicated cocktail – because I don’t really drink very much generally and this feels super celebratory – to share with family at the end of year celebrations. (I am thinking of doing Christmas Gin one or the Queen’s favourite drink – Dubonnet and Gordon’s – this year. Last year it was Chambord and fizz and also Bloody Marys. The year before it was …. Margheritas.)

But honestly your fancy might not be boozy or even pricey. Just something tangible that adds a bit pizazz. I also think trusty traditions can help here. I  have started buying a couple of extra nice Christmas decorations each year, and that is a fortifying (new for me) ritual too.  This year I bought these decorations: a Christmas pickle, a sparkly miniature bottle of gin (not with actual gin in it) and a glittery turtle.

meet me at mikes Christmas decorations meet me at mikes Christmas decorations

4/ Write it all down in your nicest writing

I made my Christmas to-do list on my work notepad in very scribbly writing. Then I realised it was making my brain explode with its chaos and un-fun-ness. So I got out the Lamy pens my mum gave me and tidied them all up and then wrote a nice list on a huge piece of paper … and honestly it made me feel much better. Perhaps this will work for you too?

You could add some cheering doodles that might provide a distraction and prevent you from doing stabby eyes at people as you wait in line for your mangoes or tub of duck fat or whatever it is that’s on your list.

5/ Bust out some perspective and plenty of pit stops

As HIGH PRESSURE and special as this time of year is touted as/is hoped to be, it’s honestly just a bundle of days. Granted it’s time often spent in the company of others, but remember that the usual things that get you through and make you feel okay still apply. Try to think of this time of year as REGULAR LIFE but with a cherry on the top, if you are feeling that it’s all too much.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted it’s advisable to apply bolstering sessions of couch-side crisp-enjoying and eps of Marvelous Mrs Maisel or Doc Martin.

Also? You don’t have to maximise the days and do all the things and be everything to everyone and manage everyone’s emotions. It’s perfectly brilliant to maximise your own wellbeing, prioritise yourself having a nice time and take bolstering pitstops between the need-to-dos.


Others are more social and love the events the most. Whichever you are, I wish you the very best over the most swirling couple of weeks of the year … ESPECIALLY if you are suffering through a big change or a loss or perhaps dealing with physical or mental health issues … all things that shift the holiday axis and can make people feel askew.

And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, an end of year virtual HUG and fist bump to you at the tail end of 2018 too! Thank you for reading!!!


I’ll be back on the weekend for Feeling A Bit Sh*t.

xx Pip

PS: Rin suggests you listen to THIS for Christmas and is making me learn all the words.

PPS: If you are struggling this Christmas, you are not alone in your battle and PLEASE treat yourself gently. Beyond Blue has helpful advice for this time of the year, and if all else fails it’s fine to get under the doona with Netflix and wait for these big days to pass. And head to your GP to get some support.

This year I couldn’t manage my own mental health alone anymore and I DID head to the GP to get a mental health plan, some medication and a referral to a psychologist and it’s making a big difference. So know that you could do that too … and that medicare partly-covers a bunch of therapy sessions if you are referred through your GP. I pay $50 for each session, which is tricky for me at the mo, but money absolutely well spent.

  • Maggie
    December 23, 2018 at 3:15 AM

    Delightful person. It was kind of you to say you’re finding help with the heavy lifting. Your instinct to help, even when you’re not feeling great, is so generous. Thanks for the reminder to stop in my tracks and sit down with a glue gun and a flat glass of prosecco. Ahhh. Merry merry.

  • ursula
    December 23, 2018 at 1:25 AM

    xo !

  • paula
    December 23, 2018 at 1:04 AM

    Said it before but I am loving all the ‘things that might help if you’re feeling….’ posts you’ve been creating Pip. I relate to many & they help but hope you are feeling more chipper. Wishing you all the good stuff for 2019 & cant wait to see your new book!

  • Madeline
    December 22, 2018 at 7:22 PM

    Seasonal best wishes to you Pip and thank you for your generous spirit.

  • kate
    December 22, 2018 at 5:34 PM

    Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year to you Pip.
    May you be safe,
    may you be peaceful
    may you live with ease.

    cheers Kate

  • Renee
    December 21, 2018 at 10:12 PM

    Merry Christmas Pip:) I’m feeling a bit flat this time of year so this post was well timed, thank you. I’ve just said no to a catch up for the first time this month and I’m relieved to take some pressure off. I love that you’re so genuine and generous with your writing. Thank you for all of your pep talks this year. I do believe I’ll bust out my Lamy too:) Love and best wishes to you and your family and I hope 2019 is a year of fab new beginnings. xxx

  • Carolyn
    December 21, 2018 at 1:58 PM

    Yay for psychologists and Medicare helping out a LITTLE bit! We’ve benefitted from their help in our house this year too! Pleased to hear you are feeling the benefit of seeing someone, Pip. I do like the idea of a fancy drink. Last year it was Pimms with all the bits and bobs. This year i’m Going a pomegranate and cranberry with fizz and Cointreau! Enjoy your Christmas xx

  • Jane @ The Shady Baker
    December 21, 2018 at 12:44 PM

    Thanks so much Pip, I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself at this time of the year for no apparent reason. Best wishes for 2019 x

  • Reannon
    December 21, 2018 at 9:11 AM

    Merry end of year of year to you Pip. I hope 2019 is a lot kinder to you & easier for you.

    I think something that really helps this time of year is to log out of the socials. It’s something I’ve done done for the last few years, usually at the beginning of December, & it makes a MASSIVE difference to my headspace. TBH, it makes a huge difference at ANY time of year but I just find that during December everyone’s show- off-edness is too much for me so I walk away. I don’t especially love Christmas, not do I dislike it, so when everyone is going OTT online it’s better if I’m offline just doing my thing.

    Big love to you Pip xx

  • Nicola Dolman
    December 21, 2018 at 8:41 AM

    Thanks for this Pip. All super advice. Happy Christmas to you and thanks for all your posts this year. They are so good!! I love them!! Better 2019 wishes for you xx

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