10 tips for a calmer Christmas

Christmas is a busy time so we’ve put together some tips that might make the festive season a bit easier for you and your child after a brain injury.

1 Have a different type of Christmas

Don’t get caught up in the stress a traditional Christmas can involve – Christmas at home with your child may be about quiet visits from those closest to you without a turkey in sight. Do whatever’s manageable rather than feel you need to have a traditional or fairytale Christmas.

2 If you’re not ready to host, don’t put yourself under pressure

Accept invites to family or friends – but check timings first so your child doesn’t get too tired with lots of sitting around in someone else’s house that might be noisier than your own.

3 Make it a team effort

If you’re hosting, ask people to bring something specific rather than having to prepare all the food yourself.

4 Don’t try and get to too many places

In previous years you might have popped in on several friends or family on one day and it can be tempting to try and do it all in the festive season. Consider whether it will be more enjoyable to say no to some of the invites rather than overcommitting.

5 Try not to change plans at the last minute

Some parents say preparation is the most important thing when it comes to the festive season. Children may dislike change and get frustrated if they have to do something different to what they’ve been told in advance.

Make time for breaks

Plan in some time out so your child can cope with fatigue better – especially because Christmas is likely to be much noisier than usual. Try and get a bit of time to relax yourself – even if it’s just a quick half hour sitting with everyone else watching Christmas TV.

7 Say if something’s bothering you

If someone has invited you to their house and it’s too noisy don’t be afraid to ask for little changes, like the music being turned down. They invited you over so they’ll want you to enjoy it.

8 If it’s all too much, think about getting away one year

Some families find preparation hard with limited time, energy and money so they choose to take a break just with the immediate family. This can mean more time to rest and spend time together.

9 Double check medication and supplies

Do a double check you have everything you need since it will possibly be harder to get hold of medicine over Christmas and New Year.

10 Have a comfortable, happy Christmas!

  Sources for these tips include the Brain Injury Hub, Headway UKOntario's Brain Injury Association of London & Region and The blog of the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST). First published: 14 December 2017
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