Christmas – Reduce Stress And Depression
For many people the Christmas season is full of festive cheer and celebrating, but it affects some people in other, less positive ways. It can be a time of feeling deep sadness, loneliness, regrets and social anxiety.
This may be due for various reasons including, fatigue, financial stress and other stresses, reminders of loss of loved ones, the expectations on it being a “happy time”, the pressures of having to juggle the extra shopping for presents, meals at home, meals out, social gatherings – it can be experienced as overwhelming as it is a lot all at once in the same short space of time.
This may be exhibited in the following ways – overeating, excessive drinking, headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Insomnia, irritability, overspending, colds, flu and becoming generally run down.
Christmas – Reduce Stress and Depression
Some of the ways to aim to reduce the levels of stress in this holiday period are:
- Forget the unimportant things – wrapping presents perfectly with all of the trimmings
- Sending cards to everyone you have known the past twenty five years
- Decorating the tree in perfectly colour themed tradition
- Attending every social gathering you are invited to regardless of whether you want to go
- Cooking everything in the traditional Christmas dinner from scratch
- Trying to please everyone all at once
Utilise your support network of friends and family, learn to delegate tasks if the pressures feel too much for you. Ensure that you make time for yourself in this busy period.
If you have a usual Christmas routine in your family that fills you with dread, mix things up. Try doing things differently – go out to dine at a restaurant on Christmas day, have an untraditional Christmas dinner, let go of hosting the Boxing Day buffet this year, or even book a holiday to escape it all!
Let go of everything needing to be the fairytale “white Christmas card” perfection and re-evaluate your expectations. Comparing your experience to others or what you have seen in the films is just plain unrealistic.
As they say, Christmas is the season of goodwill and giving – maybe try some volunteering during this season. Visit elderly folk whom are extra lonely at Christmas time, donate some gifts to a local children’s hospital, help out at the local homeless charity on Christmas day, just some ideas.
Remember to make self care a priority :
- Eat regularly but keep meals and snacks healthy as opposed to eating all of the high fat and sugary treats that are in abundance.
- Watch how much alcohol you consume – it is not only full of sugar and will impact you if you are run down but will increase feelings of stress or depression.
- Say No to invites you don’t want to go to or tasks that are not necessary.
- Take gentle exercise, fresh air is always good.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep, as sleep depravation affects mental health.
- Do not overspend – reduce financial worries.
- Have some quiet time for you each day to relax, maybe meditate or just some you time to unwind.
Above all, remember to enjoy yourself and use this guide as a helping hand to take care of yourself over this busy period.
Happy Christmas from me, Jane x