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    7 Small Changes To Try This Week

    One step at a time.

    Tim Lane/ BuzzFeed

    1. If you have 3 minutes: Think of one good thing.

    2. If you have 5 minutes: Invite a friend to come to a party with you.

    Loryn Brantz/ BuzzFeed

    In this helpful article Dr Joanna Silver, psychologist at Nightingale Hospital, explains: “It’s important to realise that it is normal to feel anxious at gatherings so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to ‘perform.’ Concentrating on breathing properly can be really helpful. It can sometimes be helpful to go to a large gathering with a friend so that you feel more comfortable.”

    3. If you have 10 minutes: Dance around the kitchen.

    Popsugar/ Big Machine Records

    Without getting too Gilmore Girls, I've taken to having a little kitchen bop when I'm stressed. I stick on 2-3 tracks (Christmassy ones, at this time of year!) and, well, bop. It always helps.

    4. If you have 15 minutes: Read this essay on coming to terms with alopecia.

    Rebecca Hendin/BuzzFeed

    "My hair was at the core of my identity, and when it was gone I was forced to look at myself under the microscope to figure out just who exactly I was and what I stood for. I was exposed to the world and it scared the hell out me. There are so many things we associate with hair. Soft curls? Feminine, of course. A sharp bob? Professional. A pixie cut? Edgy. And if you have no hair? You look sick. You look strange. You’re different. It is hard for me to know that the first thing that pops into someone’s mind when they see me is “I wonder what is wrong with her?” but it is. I can’t deny that."

    5. If you have 20 minutes: Think about how to handle stressful topics in advance.

    Becky Barnicoat/ BuzzFeed

    I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but commenter Clarissa has a tip for managing stressful situations at Christmas:

    “I like to remind myself of my own boundaries with my family. I know when to walk away from certain people and when to let them know they’ve crossed the line. It gets easier every year to make these boundaries clear for everyone involved. If my dad starts going down a road of blaming me for something unreasonable I shut down the conversation by saying: ‘I love you but I’m not having this conversation with you.’”

    6. If you have 30 minutes: Snuggle up.


    It's chilly out there! It's time to make a nest, like a little hedgehog curling up for the winter.

    1. Pick your cosiest outfit – one that makes you happy when you wear it. It could be very old tracksuit bottoms, or some fancy leggings. Whatever floats your boat. I'd also suggest throwing out your bottom-tier lounge wear. You know, tatty t-shirts, ratty sweaters – if you go "urghhhhh" when you see them, they should be chucked.

    2. Make a cosy corner. Here's where we get specific: You're gonna need a hot water bottle. I love these recylced cashmere-covered ones from Etsy, but you don't to be as luxurious as me.

    3. Pick an activity. Here's a weekly series of 7 Ways To Entertain Yourself – you're bound to find something interesting there.

    7. If you have 30 seconds: Look at these pugs.

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