Managing stress over Christmas

6 tips to help manage the added stresses of the festive period

  • 09 December 2020
  • 3 min read
Christmas is a time of year which can highlight loneliness, financial and relationship problems, so it is important to look after your mental health during the festive period. Here we have 6 tips to manage Christmas stress.

1. Try not to make Christmas competitive

According to social media, everyone will be having infinitely better planned Christmases than you. Don't be sucked in, one of the core drivers of social media is to show off and out-do others. Instead of trying to keep up with everyone else, do your own thing. Leave the social media competition to everyone else.

2. Have an alcohol limit, eat well and stay active

The temptation will be there to turn to alcohol to cope with stress, keeping up with the party pace or loneliness. Unfortunately, alcohol is a depressant, so limit your intake to the safety guidelines as well as being sensible with the number of sugary foods you eat over the festive period. Eating lean meat, fruit and vegetables should be staples with the occasional festive indulgence thrown in. Short on time, a brisk 20 minute walk is great to help kick start the endorphin release. Which in turn leaves you feeling relaxed and happy. As well as helping to boost your immune system, during the winter season.

3. Keep things in perspective

In the pursuit of a perfect Christmas, we put ourselves under a lot of financial and emotional pressure. It is important to not expect too much from yourself. Allow yourself to focus on how unimportant in a few weeks or months time the preparation of Christmas will be.

4. Do one thing at a time

Make yourself a Christmas preparation to do list. Then give yourself a moment to review this and remove anything that is not essential from the list. Then from the remaining items, decide which is most important and do that first. Then move onto the next priority. Each thing you achieve by focusing your attention, your list will soon become easier.

5. Talk about your worries

Talking with family members and relatives about things that make you anxious can actually help you to realise that some are not actually important at all. Talking can also allow you to figure out those few things which are at the root of your worries.

6. Help others

Acts of random kindness or helping others can help boost your own mental well being. Festive volunteering or doing a good deed for a neighbour might just be what you need to get through this festive season.

If this sounds familiar and you're looking for further support, our resources in our student mental health support over Christmas article may be useful - we have more advice and contacts for you to use. 

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