Christmas is a joyous time for many. Most of us get time of work or school, we get presents, we eat well and we get to spend time with loved ones. However, there are plenty of people who are less fortunate and don't get those opportunities. Even if we are lucky, Christmas can bring about a lot of anxiety. The question is: how do we deal with it?
Why would I feel anxious?
One of the most common reason Christmas can bring about anxiety is the amount of people rushing around everywhere. Suddenly public places seem five times as busy because of Christmas shopping and a mania seems to descend on people.
Another reason for feeling anxious about Christmas is presents. Buying presents for other people is a huge pressure as you don't want to buy too little for people but then there is a financial pressure on you.
Spending time with family in theory shouldn't make you anxious but often it does at this time of year. People are stressed with cooking, presents, arrangements for the actual day etc. Often, people don't feel relaxed on Christmas Day so it's understandable to feel anxious when there is so much stress surrounding the day
Overcoming Anxiety on Christmas Day
Spend Christmas Eve in a relaxed way. Watch a few Christmas films and maybe try some baking. You could even spend the evening wrapping presents whilst watching films so that they are ready Christmas morning.
Try not to eat too many chocolates. Caffeine and sugar raise levels anxiety and often will leave you feeling worse.
Make time for yourself. Despite potential family pressures, it's important not to get overwhelmed so make sure there is time during the day that you can have to yourself if you want it.
Play music and sing songs. As well as bringing up spirits, singing can help regulate breathing which should help you feel less anxious.
Christmas comes around only once a year so we should try to make it as enjoyable as possible. It is also the season for giving, so if you are able to, give something to those less fortunate. Last year, I did a little food shop for food banks as well as getting some dog treats/toys for a rescue centre. Do what you can and it'll make you feel better as well as those that you are helping.
Merry Christmas everyone!