Seasons greetings to you.
What a year it has been, what with moving to the lovely town of Honiton and all the DIY we have been doing and I’ve been very busy with work. It’s been a busy and productive time. However, I must admit I’m looking forward to some time off over the festive period to recharge my batteries and to spend some time with family and friends.
As we progress further into December there are a wide range of experiences to deal with, excitement, dread, pressure, social gatherings at work and with family and all those sensory differences too, what a minefield ! This can make us feel especially anxious, for some overwhelming and it’s very common to feel these things.
The financial implications of Christmas can also cause a great deal of anxiety, with presents to buy, new outfits and festive ‘essentials’ such as wrapping paper, food and tree decorations etc etc etc. We should be aware that we don’t all have family and friends to spend Christmas with and anxious thoughts that are triggered by family conflicts or even the loss of a loved one, can make us feel isolated and as a result, more anxious.
So, here are a few tips on how you can cope and manage at this time.
- Don’t Over Indulge – We can be tempted to “treat ourselves” over the festive period, however, it is important to remember that food can have quite an impact on our mood. If we have too much sugar and/or caffeine it can cause us to peak and crash and often impacts on our emotions.
- Drink Responsibly – Its often said that alcohol helps to relax their anxiety however, drinking too much and the following hangover can often lead us to feel worse. It wipes out the serotonin we create, so keep hydrated by drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages, above all know your limits and stay safe.
- Keep Active – Its great to go for a walk or maintain our exercise routines, it helps clear our head, give us time to think or some peace and quiet.
- Take Your Time – Don’t feel pressured to get caught up in the festive whirlwind and rush of Christmas. The reality of Christmas isn’t what we see on Social Media and TV, make it what you want it to be and be happy.
- Make time for yourself – It’s a busy time so look after YOU, listen to your favourite song or album, watch a good film, read a book, listen to music or take a long soak in the bath or a few extra minutes in the shower. Be kind to yourself and relax!
- Rest – Try and get plenty of sleep and rest during Christmas. Feeling tired can lead to us feeling less able to cope. Grab yourself an early night or a nice lie in, you will be glad you did.
- In the moment simple breathing techniques like 2,3,4 breathing can be really helpful. You breath in through your nose for the count of 2, breathing in calm and relaxed, hold it for the count of three and exhale out of your mouth, breathing out any stress or tensions and repeat this for at least three rounds. Practising this regularly is very beneficial.
- Concentrating on your breathing is a great way of calming down and feeling more in control. Each round of breathing must be carried out a number of times until you feel calm again.
- Simply being in a different situation can change your thinking. If your thoughts are overwhelming you in one room, walk into another room, or, better still, step out into the garden, or go for a walk.
Its important to look after yourself, be kind to yourself, you are important.
Have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2024.
Best wishes, Louise