Keeping Stress Down at Christmas
Christmas films give a rose-tinted view of the festive season; days filled with Xmas films, couples having snowball fights and families reenacting nativity scenes. But this is not always the case. For many, the festive period can be stressful as they worry about money, presents and visiting the family in which they haven’t seen in months. We are trying to make Christmas as fun for our family as possible while keeping our worries in the back of our minds.
Christmas should be a time for laughter, joy and happiness. So, instead of letting your stress eat away at you, start taking active steps to decrease your anxiety and worry for the most wonderful time of the year. If you follow this advice, you can have a happy holiday and a fantastic new year, too.
When we think of Christmas, we think of the jolly Santa, a brightly lit Christmas tree and more often than not, a pile of presents to give and receive. Gifts are a huge part of Christmas for millions of families. Collectively, people in the UK will spend just under £446,000 every minute of every day in December.
And that’s only on presents; not the trees, decorations or food. Just the gifts we wrap for other people. It’s mindblowing how much we are willing to spend, and the cost of Christmas presents can often have us worrying about how much money we don’t have to spend.
We need to remember that it’s not about the money that we spend or the gifts that we give, but about the thought behind our presents. More often than not, the family would love something meaningful and cheap over something expensive and of no interest to them. Don’t let other family members or friends who spend more money pressure you into boosting your gift budget. Assess your finances, look at how much you can save, spend and set a budget for each person. A great top tip would be to buy in advance when there are sales on before the prices are pushed up during the Christmas period.
At Christmas, we can feel enormous pressure to spend time with all of our family. Movies like Four Christmases, Christmas with the Kranks and The Grinch all preach about spending Christmas with the family. We have to see both sets of parents, grandparents, siblings and so on. And if we don’t, then we only feel guilty.
If you have a big family that’s spread out across the country, it can be hard and costly to reach all of them. You don’t want to pick and choose who you see, but you don’t want to spend Christmas isolated from everyone either. Try and organise a family get together where you can all meet up at a location so you can see everyone (or most people) at once.
Maybe there is a person in your family who you have a history with, and being around them causes you stress. Whether it’s a family argument that’s never been settled or a betrayal that causes your blood to boil when you see them, you shouldn’t let their presence ruin your Christmas. Just avoid them at events and don’t engage in conversation with them; if you want to get to the bottom of the fighting and end the feud for good, family therapy might be a good option.
If you are facing one of the issues above and you feel like you struggle to control your stress on your own, therapy might be the best solution for you. Therapy can help you understand why you stress over money or family time. By understanding the underlying thoughts and emotions which cause anxiety or depression during Christmas time, you can then start to tackle them effectively.
Knowledge helps make the journey to recovery more manageable, and a therapist is there to support you in every step of the way. A therapist is an expert in all areas regarding our mental health; with their knowledge, they can give you tips and advice on how to control your mental health and overcome symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Therapy isn’t something you should be afraid or embarrassed about. Nor should you be pressured into pushing it into the new year. Your mental health should always come before gift-giving and Christmas decorations.
You don’t need to tell anyone where you are going, or what you are doing; if you do, you don’t need to disclose what you talk about in your sessions. Your one-to-one time is for you alone, so don’t let other people’s opinions sway you from making an excellent decision to improve on your mental health.
Check out my website now to learn more about how therapy can benefit you this winter. Whether you want to get a hold of your stress, anxiety or depression before the new year, or make sure your Christmas is a happy one, then therapy can be the answer. With expertise and a desire to help people develop better mental health, I can work with you through any issues you have to make sure you have an improved outlook on your future.