By Daniela Ho Tan, Clinical Psychologist at Mindwealth Psychology
Christmas often evokes thoughts of presents under the tree, laughter, food and a much-needed break from work. However, along with the festive spirit is the financial stress of Christmas gifts, the juggling act of Christmas Day with your family vs the in-laws, or for some, increased loneliness, or the sadness that comes with a first Christmas without a loved one present.
It may come as a surprise but there is often a spike in “crises” through the Christmas and New Year period as people tend to notice feelings of anxiety and depression.
Here are 5 tips for a fun-filled and stress-free holiday season:
Focus on your values
For example, if family is important to you then focus on the time you get to spend with your loved ones because that is what you will remember when you look back on the memory. Try and ask yourself “Will I remember this when I look back?” and if the answer is “no” then don’t sweat the small stuff and try to let go!
Set aside downtime
Plan to have some little breaks for “ME” time, even if this just means having 15 minutes for a bath or a walk to unwind. Try to remember to leave your phone behind too to truly switch off, and it never gets old but focussing on your breathing for a few minutes is one of those phrases I say to clients who get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life.
It doesn’t have to be perfect
Really, it doesn’t. When do things ever truly go “perfectly” anyway? Let go of this notion and focus on having fun or just giving everything your best shot, and know that it is more than good enough.
Watch your alcohol intake
We all like our glass (or two or three) of wine but do be mindful that alcohol is a depressant and excessive consumption can lower your mood, despite the initial high. Try to have a glass of water between each glass of wine and remember that alcohol will lower inhibitions so if you have any nagging relatives coming over then pace yourself to avoid a confrontation.
Check in with others
Take a moment to ask a simple “How are you?” to those who may not have family around during the holidays. It’s a small act but can make a massive difference to them during a busy period. If you have a spare seat at the table, why not invite them along even?
If you continue to struggle to find the right balance or need some help with managing any anxieties or low mood, then do not hesitate to contact Daniela of Mindwealth Psychology at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0444 523 038.