Blogger Gayleen share’s her advice for coping with stress and anxiety at Christmas
For me, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s not full of stresses and challenges. Sometimes, just the sheer pressure of making Christmas special, can spiral and leave you feeling the stress, or simply just overwhelmed. So here are a few Christmas coping mechanisms that will help you and your wellbeing over the holidays.
Take a Break from Social Media
December can be a busy month for everyone, naturally social media will reflect this. If you’re being bombarded with posts and images of your friend’s parties overwhelms you or makes you feel inferior, remember to take regular breaks from social media. You can tune into the pages that make you feel good or go and do something you enjoy instead. Make a gingerbread house or stick on a classic Christmas film – I like Home Alone! Take a bubble bath and then curl up with a hot chocolate.
Indulge in yourself. You are worthy. Reduce the noise from social media and focus on the calm and still.
It’s Okay to Say No
December can soon be a month filled with work parties, social commitments and family plans. Before you know it, your diary is full and you’re left feeling overwhelmed and exhausted before the parties have even begun. It’s ok to say no. You don’t have to be rude, simply thank the host for the invite, but apologise and explain that you are unable to attend. You don’t need to lie, but if you are pushed for the reasons why- say you have a personal commitment you need to attend. This isn’t a lie, as you are just as important as all those people you might usually try to please.
If you do end up with a month full of plans and diary entries, ensure you block out a few days this month to just focus on yourself and take a well–deserved rest from all of your commitments.
Go for a Calming Winters Walk
This is the best time of the year to go for a walk – even better if you can make it an early evening one. Lights glisten everywhere and there is something so still and magical about the air at this time of the year. Ground yourself whilst you do it. Take note of your senses and your surroundings as you go on this mindful calming winters walk. Try to do this regularly throughout December, and January too! You can sign up for Dorset Mind’s annual RED January campaign here. This is a FREE movement to help you to get active this January with the charity behind you, every step of the way!
Plan Your Christmas Shopping
When it comes to Christmas shopping, ensure you have a plan in place. Write down who you need to buy for, what your budget is and when you can go shopping. Whatever you can order online, I would advise doing as the shops are just rammed in December. However, if you do need to brave the shops, take someone with you and make it a happy and exciting trip. Research when the peak shopping times are and try to avoid those hours. You could perhaps try a Thursday late night shop. Stop off for hot drinks and festive nibbles. Wrap as you go along too. And never ever leave anything until the last minute to avoid the biggest stress of the Christmas season. No one wants to feel unprepared as December 25th fast approaches.
Lists are my best and most helpful tool. I write them for everything. Christmas time is no different. Write down the jobs you need to do ahead of time, what is left to buy and the food you need to prepare.
I would also recommend trying to get a mini de–clutter done before the Christmas holidays so that you don’t overwhelm yourself and clutter your physical space as well as your mind.
I hope that these tips are helpful for you. Nothing is worth your happiness. Make sure you are taking care of your mental health and wellbeing first and foremost. By following the Christmas coping mechanisms above, you can ensure you will survive the festive period with a firm smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.