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Dealing with stress and anxiety over the Christmas season

Christmas is meant to be a time for celebration and happiness but for many people it can be a period of depression and stress. And there are many reasons for this:

Make Christmas your version of perfect!

We have such high expectations of a perfect Christmas. Think about how much imagery there is perfect families opening perfect presents, sitting around a perfect table set with the perfect Christmas dinner. But the reality of striving for perfection can be a recipe for disaster and can create tension and frustration in trying to achieve that illusory perfection! So stop being hard on yourself! The thing to remember is that it is your version of Christmas that’s perfect … because its unique and because - it is your form of perfect – warts and all! And that is all that really matters! Strive for a version of perfection that is all about you.

Try not to overspend

But Christmas is also jam-packed full of other pressures like the financial aspect of Christmas? How many of us set a budget and promise ourselves to stick to it but in reality we overspend? I mean who wants to be stingy at this time of year? But that overspend can cause real hardship when the credit card needs to be paid. Its hard but it so important to budget – and no matter how boring – you should try to avoid overspending by putting money away every week. Start early – maybe in the Spring - so you have a good chunk of money set aside by the time Christmas arrives and then shop ruthlessly to take advantages of all the sales and discounts throughout the year. This way you can feel really pleased with yourself for not being mean, shopping within your budget and packing in a few bargains along the way!

Christmas plan ahead

Time always seem to fly at this time of year. I’m so busy trying to finish off work, enjoy the socials, attend the children’s activities .. and before I realise it Christmas is here. Then I am rushing around trying to get everything done. Why does it always take me by surprise? I admit I’m a “leave it till the last minute” kind of person and probably thrive on the adrenaline rush but the stress isn’t too much fun and I’m usually too exhausted to enjoy the festivities. I’m beginning to think its maybe best to plan ahead and schedule my time better so I can do my Christmas preparations and complete my work so I can relax my way through the celebrations.

Happy families!

Christmas is meant to be about family. But this forced family time can lead to tensions. If you are not a close family its hard to expect to come together and play happy families on 1 day of the year and not expect a fight. Everyone is under a lot of stress and with all that alcohol tensions may flare up. Maybe you worked hard in the run up to the big day and you maybe exhausted and harried or maybe you are stressed and anxious anyway and it can become a potent mix. Why not plan your day around something to focus on and that you can do together – like family games? The relaxation and distraction such as games to help steer around stressful situations. And avoid overindulgence in alcohol as a way to avoid unnecessary arguments.

New opportunities!

Another reason for stress and anxiety over Christmas is that we will reflect on the year gone by …. and perhaps get disappointed in not having accomplished what we set out to do - another year has gone and you still haven’t set up that business, got that promotion, moved house, lost weight. We can easily beat ourselves up about the “I could have” and “I should have”. Instead of focusing on the things you didn’t do try to focus on the things you did do and allow yourself the enjoyment of your successes no matter how small or trivial you think they maybe. Be kind to yourself and recognise that the new year can bring new opportunities and re-plan the thing you really want to achieve.

Above all remember that Christmas is meant to be a time to relax. So let yourself give up on those stresses and with these tips enjoy the festivities!



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