During the festive season many people experience feelings of depression as well high levels of stress. Many people also have a sense of dread during this time as they have a lot of responsibilities and expectations placed on them by their families and peers. Stress increases anxiety, which can make you feel like you’re drowning in your own emotions.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of Christmas, try these tips:
– If there’s something that’s causing you stress, don’t worry about doing it perfectly – just do it! If cooking isn’t your thing, then ask someone else to do it for you; if wrapping presents isn’t your favourite thing then buy them already wrapped from a store; if hosting Christmas dinner makes you anxious then invite friends over instead; if all the shopping is driving you crazy then buy one gift each month until December.
– Don’t put yourself under pressure by trying to make your family perfect. All families experience tension to some degree. Part of the reason why Christmas time can be so stressful is the unrealistic expectation of coming together as a happy family on this one day of the year. Try to avoid getting into arguments with family members during this time. If things get heated, simply
walk away from the situation or excuse yourself from the room until everyone calms down again.
– Don’t take it personally. If you feel like you’re being picked on or criticised, don’t allow it to get you down. It’s just that everyone else is stressed too and they’re taking it out on you. Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama. There are always people who are more dramatic than others and tend to blow everything out of proportion and place unrealistic expectations on people, so don’t get sucked into their drama as well! Remember you are not obliged to do anything other than be true to yourself.
– Draw up a budget so that you don’t spend unnecessarily and take steps to avoid overspending. You don’t have to buy gifts for everyone. Many people buy only for the important people in the lives, such as immediate family, or those that they will be physically seeing at the time. Bottom line is that your loved ones will love you regardless of receiving gifts or not. Find low-cost ways of having fun.
– It’s tempting to use alcohol as a means to cope at this time of the year, but in reality, it only makes it worse. Not only do you have less control of your emotions and reactions, but the after effect can be really draining at a time you need your energy the most. Overeating too can leave you feeling worse for wear and have serious effects on your health. Learn to say no-thanks, and try to stick to healthier options if you do decide to go all out.
– exercise releases endorphins which help reduce stress and improve our mood so get moving! Go for a walk or even better go swimming or take up yoga!
– take a break from Christmas shopping or visiting friends and family if needed. This may mean taking yourself off somewhere quiet to clear your head of all those crazy thoughts. Treat yourself with kindness by doing something nice for yourself like having a bath or going to bed early with a good book!
It’s time to create your own happiness, regardless of what other people think you should be doing. The best way to start is by taking the pressure off yourself and focusing on what really matters – simple pleasures like spending time with friends and family, enjoying the beauty of nature, and taking the time to do things that make you happy. It might not be easy in the moment (especially if you have a long list of people to visit), but ultimately your well-being and happiness will benefit from small acts of courage to do what makes you happy – even if that means ignoring perceived expectations or being selfish.
Ultimately, the best way to deal with this stressful time of year is simply to be prepared. When we plan better and prepare ourselves we remove any unnecessary stress. In other words if money is non-existent at the end of the year then start putting money away at the beginning of the year no matter how small the amount is by the time December rolls around again you will have a small stash in order to use and create some relief for yourself.