Une appli pour survivre aux repas de Noël en famille

How do you stay good in front of a family member who openly resists your lifestyle? How do you handle topics like politics or the Covid vaccine between a Christmas turkey and a frozen stump while staying cool? These are the questions that the chatbot “My Christmas Sherpapa” is trying to answer.

Created jointly with psychiatrist Dr. Fanny Jack (Director of Mental Health at Qare) in collaboration with researchers from the CNRS and the Institute of the Brain (ICM), the app identifies a user’s profile, then offers personalized follow-up according to the evolution of their moods and emotions. Available all year round under the name ” My Sherpa “Thus it is specifically made to help users who are particularly concerned about the idea of ​​celebrating the end of the year with their families.

Practical training and exercises

The “My Christmas Sherpapa” app, which has been downloaded more than 230,000 times, provides activities to deal with end-of-year holiday annoyances. Training in managing worrying thoughts or adopting a benevolent attitude towards oneself… Exercises based on behavioral and cognitive therapies centered around positive thinking are also offered through the application. The program was designed based on advice written by psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

An initiative that can make you smile, but nonetheless corresponds to a very specific phenomenon: childbirth phobia, a real annoyance at the idea of ​​celebrating the end of the year with the family. The reasons that lead to childbirth phobia are numerous: seasonal depression, family conflicts, bereavement, financial difficulties, pressure to give gifts … but also the grief of people who, on the contrary, find themselves obliged to celebrate holidays on their own. A particularly pronounced phenomenon this year with the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic.

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Pour cells et ceux qui hésitent encore à franchir la porte de la maisonnée familiale ce week-end, la Dre Fanny Jacq préconise d’y aller à son rythme ou d’opter pour les compromis, par exemple en annonçant que l’on vient unique for dessert. Bearing in mind that year-end celebrations shouldn’t be synonymous with suffering: “If celebrating Christmas with the family seems really insurmountable, I’d definitely advise against going,” the psychiatrist slides.

As for people who get depressed by the idea of ​​being alone, Dr. Jack recommends on the contrary, “Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or someone else to spend New Year’s Eve in her company.” Even if it means doing it at the last minute…

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