It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Well maybe, but not for all of us. I love Christmas, I really do – the lights, the carols, the Christmas movies, the festive spirit, the kids excitement, the Christmas dinner, buying presents, and spending time with family. However, this time of the year evokes a lot of emotion and anxiety for me, and for many people.
The pressure to buy the perfect gift for everyone from your close family to that guy in work that you hardly know can lead to overspending and intense financial pressure. The social demands and hectic calendar of festivities can bring about physical and emotional stress. The changing of family dynamics, whether it’s a missing family member due to bereavement or other circumstances, can be very distressing.
There are so many reasons why you may be feeling low or tearful this festive season, and it may feel easier to avoid your feelings or avoid talking about it, but bottling up your emotions only delays dealing with them and often accentuates them.
To help ease some of the stress that comes with Christmas, here are some of my tips;
- Spend time with people, especially those who you can open up to and can lift your spirits.
- Say no to social commitments if you need a night off to relax and cosy up by the fire. Christmas should be a period of rest also, not just a marathon of nights out and boozy dinners.
- Exercise regularly, and where possible, outside. I can’t stress enough how important physical activity is for our mental wellbeing and exercising somewhere green will further boost your mood.
- Avoid overdoing it on the alcohol and sugar (as much as possible). The answer is not at the bottom of the bottle or tub of ice-cream.
- Put a budget on gifts with friends and family, or agree to not buy presents and treat one another to a coffee or lunch instead.
- If things get too much, speak to someone – Samaritans are available to talk 24/7