If the festive season brings you anger instead of joy, you’re not alone. According to experts, Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year, during which people tend to overextend themselves in every way.
“It’s a highly stressful time and it’s driven by thoughts of ‘I want everything to be perfect’, ‘I have to get everything done to please others, to please my family and make sure everything is right’”, explains clinical psychologist Helen Nightingale. “These thoughts are the ones that usually trigger the emotions of anger” she adds.
“Post-Christmas, our phones go crazy because people want to immediately put themselves through anger management programmes or are desperate for help or support” says Mike Fisher, director of the British Association of Anger Management (BAAM).
With 18 years' experience working with over 25,000 people across schools, organisations, family and individual programmes, Fisher first launched Anger Awareness Week over 12 years ago. The campaign, running between 1 and 7 December, aims to prepare people for the holiday season, promoting a ‘Keep Your Cool’ kit packed with practical tips and insights.
“The challenge is to not take things personally, even if they are personal. This is the biggest challenge, not only at Christmas, but for people with anger management issues” Fisher says.
Ahead of the stressful, jolly times awaiting us, we asked him and Nightingale to tell us how to keep the festive frenzy in check. Click through and read what both experts have to say.