A regular health and lifestyle column from Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice based in Newmarket Street, Skipton

THE main gripe many people have about Christmas is the commercial element and the pressure to spend, spend, spend.

When it comes to Christmas gifts the act of giving often makes us feel so much better than receiving. Giving creates a warm fuzzy feeling and makes us feel good.

The risk is overstretching ourselves financially in order to people please. Giving to actively seek out gratitude or acceptance rarely works, if at all. This can backfire into feelings of disappointment and resentment, as well as an empty purse and maxed out credit.

In today’s world we are aware of people suffering extreme hardship. For many warmth, safety, a caring face and a hot meal is their only hope for Christmas. Supporting local charities and community groups either by buying products or donating can contribute to making people’s Christmases that bit brighter. This needn’t be a financial contribution - it can be giving of your time in a volunteering capacity.

Christmas can be a challenging time for those who are isolated, lonely and battling unseen demons.

Many services which are heavily relied upon are closed over the festive period.

Giving a listening ear and checking in on acquaintances and neighbours can make a world of difference to someone struggling.

Make it a priority to express gratitude to the shop workers, hospitality staff, the designated driver, friends and family who are doing their bit to make your Christmas sparkle.

Give yourself the precious gift of self care, permission to rest, to say no and to have time out of the chaos.

There are many ways to give this Christmas, a smile and a kind word cost nothing but are priceless.

Merry Christmas!