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Check out how to get through Christmas, cope with boredom and make the most of your time off during the summer. Above all else, be kind to yourself and remember that there’s always someone to talk to if you need help.

This can help if:

  • you’re worried about dealing with Christmas stress
  • you’re bored over the summer
  • you want ideas to make the most out of your summer.
3 teens walking in outside mall

Getting through Christmas

The holiday season has its own particular challenges. Whether it’s family conflict, dealing with money hassles or just the overall stress that the end of the year can bring, Christmas can be nerve-racking!

Here are some ways to get through it without turning into a total Grinch:

  • Write a list of the things you need to get done and prioritise them so you know what’s most important.
  • Try to be patient with your family and to keep your sense of humour, even while Auntie Mabel is telling you the same story she’s told you for the past five Christmases.
  • Offer to help out, whether it’s friends or family, or even a complete stranger. Helping others isn’t only a caring act; it will also make you feel good.
  • Know what annoys you – if certain family members get on your nerves, try to identify the things that can affect you and think of ways you can respond differently than you normally would.
  • Just say ‘no’. If it’s all getting to be too much and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to take time out or let people know what you are feeling.
  • If things get really tough, call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (free call from landlines and mobiles) or Lifeline on 13 11 44 (cost of a local call from a landline or free from a mobile).

Take a Christmas chill pill

Christmas and New Year is a time when things can get tough. Feel free to take some time out to look after yourself:

  • Ring a friend or family member for a chat.
  • Get active – go for a walk, have a swim, or go surfing.
  • Take some me-time – read a book, write in your journal or listen to your favourite music.
  • Think about the year that has just passed and write down some short-, medium- and long-term goals for the year ahead. Making a list of goals can really help give you direction and a sense of excitement for the future.

What to do if you’re bored

The summer break seems like it’s going on forever and things are starting to get a little snooze-worthy. Here are some ways to banish boredom and get the most out of your summer, without forking out heaps of cash:

  • Make something. Bake a cake or create a playlist of your favourite music to share with a friend. Making, building or creating things are great ways to avoid feeling bored and help you feel that you’ve accomplished something.
  • Start that book you’ve been meaning to read all year.
  • Learn something new – like how to tune your bike. (YouTube has tutorials on just about any topic you can think of.) You could even just brush up on your general knowledge with HowStuffWorks.
  • Challenge yourself to a social media-detox, whether it’s for a day, a week or even a month (eeek!). See what life is like only IRL, off the grid.
  • Break out of your everyday bubble. Visit a new beach or café, or invite a friend to spend a day or a weekend exploring a national park you’ve never been to before. Get in the car, go out on foot, pack a lunch, trust your feet and don’t turn back…unless you get lost. Then you should probably turn back.
  • Plan a surprise for someone. It could be a treat, an activity, a concert, or anything else you think they’d enjoy. It’s fun for you and fun for them – everybody wins. Some surprises lead to goodness like this:

 Little girl in car happy

What can I do now?