The Reality of Festive Stresses: How Christmas Can Be Anything But Jolly
Christmas is meant to be merry and bright, but with a number of things preventing the festive cheer, there’s no surprise than thousands of us look to this holiday with fear and stress. A Mind survey found that almost a third of people with mental health problems feel unable to cope at Christmas, three times that of the wider population.
While children are often blind to the real issues Christmas can bring, there are many adults out there who only see Christmas as a time of hard work and stress. Money troubles and a never-ending to-do-list can impact our mood and cause many of us can fall into a deep depression.
So what can you do to ensure your Christmas is jolly and fun? And how exactly does this seasonal holiday impact your mental health? Please keep reading to learn more about the risk Christmas has on your happiness and how I can help.
There is no surprise that around Christmas people face much more money troubles than throughout the rest of the year. In Mind’s survey, 41% of those surveyed reported getting into debt at Christmas. Even the most organised and financially-stable people can sometimes get anxious over their spending habits in the festive period. With pressure to impress and please, people can go over-the-top with their gifting and decoration, leaving them starting the New Year in debt. Over-reliance on credit cards and savings can also leave us facing stresses as we have to think of ways to make this money back, so we aren’t left in a non-stop cycle of debt.
It can even be the smallest aspects of our Christmas we don’t consider which can cause our holiday bill to mount up. Things like leaving the Christmas lights on every night or having a light display outside our house. Even if you don’t budget your Christmas day meal, you can see this cost reflected in your expenses. Make sure you look to Christmas with festive cheer but a level head. You need to know what you can afford to spend and ensure you keep within these means. Create a budget and work within that. Also, consider how it’s the thought that counts with presents and not the worth. If you feel pressured by individual members of the family to impress or overspend, you need to either talk to them about this or ignore it and focus on your happiness, money and mental health.
If we don’t take all of these things into account, then we can enter the new year with overwhelming stress or depression. Financial stresses can also trigger suicidal thoughts and is incredibly impactful for men. You need to prepare for Christmas spending rather than spend your time in the post-festive phase worrying about what has been spent.
Too Much to Do
Christmas can be a hectic time, and it still could be this year despite the Covid-19 pandemic. PM Johnson is anxious to get families celebrating together, and with Lockdown 2.0 preventing many of us from Christmas shopping when we wanted to, there will be no surprise to see lines outside all of the stores for weeks.
You may even feel more anxious than ever to make this Christmas feel normal and fun for your family. This means you are doing more, planning more and stressing more throughout the festive weeks. As a result, your stress levels shoot up, and you can even face sad or depressive thoughts if you feel like you aren’t meeting the high standards you have set.
Organising your to-do-list, and setting realistic expectations, can all impact the way you approach Christmas as well as the impact it has on your mental health. Understandably, this Christmas will be different than anything we have ever experienced, and you shouldn’t let this force you to go over-the-top to compensate. Sit down and organise everything from family activities to presents and the big day itself to make everything much more manageable.
Benefits fo Therapy
Sometimes, our lives outside fo Christmas can impact how we feel during these weeks. Past trauma, environmental factors, the people around us and situations we are in all have the power to affect and alter our mental health. With the added stresses that Christmas brings, it can cause long-lasting mental health illnesses like anxiety and depression.
Therapy is perfect for being open and honest about these issues with someone who knows how to listen and provide support. Sometimes, we are too afraid to tell those closest to use what we are going through. Therefore, a therapist is a perfect tool for people who feel like they can no longer support their mental health themselves or reach out to those around them. With years of experience working with a wide range of people, I can provide you with the compassionate ear, expert advice and unyielding determination you need to look to a future of better mental health.
Please take a look at our website to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. If you are worried about how Christmas affects your mental health, then make sure you get in contact with me. I can help you understand how the mind works and how you can prevent issues like money struggles and a busy lifestyle from dragging your mood down.