The 12 Days of Christmas
Avoiding Stress and Depression at Christmas
Christmas is supposed to be a time of good will toward men filled with joy and happy times, parties, celebrations, and not forgetting all the social gatherings and everyone spending time with their family? Social.
However for lots of people, it is a time filled with sadness, loneliness and a whole load of stress and anxiety
Why can we feel like this at Christmas?
Each of us is individual and can feel sad at any time and what makes one of us sad doesn’t necessarily make others sad However Christmas can be just that for many people. There are many illnesses which bring on the Christmas blues
Stress !!!!, all that rushing about , working etc hours, feeling exhausted, not to mention the pressure we feel to buy the right gift at whatever financial problem may occur. Our expectations whether set by ourselves or by others seem to go crazy at Christmas, whatever happened to the one main toy and maybe a selection box, we are now pressured into little Johnny having to have the latest mobile , cloths, tablet , games station or we don’t feel we are really giving our children what they want. Then the pressure from the other school kids and parents, it seems to have turned into one long battle to outdo other children or parents. This is really stressful, pictures of front rooms piled high with toys, more resembling Santa’s grotto than a Childs Christmas present pile. I had a client say to me I have purchased both Children a tablet and a phone and that was £1000 now I will spend the rest on clothes, trainers and stocking fillers.
I bet if you asked each child what they remember about last Christmas or what they or even you had for Christmas it will be more about the times they had than the presents. Everyone together Try not to beat you up desperately trying to manage expectations. The absolutely best present you can give any child is your love and there self esteem, piling up the presents only passes on that this is how Christmas is, you are teaching them that good enough is never good enough, there is always something else.
Let’s not forget those of us , who have lost people at Christmas time and are feeling that loss at every anniversary or family gathering, and what about those who don’t have family, wouldn’t it be nice to make sure we all invite that one person we know to our house, after all the more the merrier
Trying to organise Christmas is as stressful as organising a wedding demands of shopping, parties, family kids, and house guests build up the stress and we start to feel overwhelmed. So how do we know if we are stressed?
The list is long but a sure fire sign may include one or more of the following
Needing a drink to relax
Eating everything we can get our hands on even when we are not hungry
Waking up early in the morning to ‘THINK’ about all the lists and problems that come with Christmas
Feelings of hopelessness
And making poor excuses to avoid situations
Here are a few tips for making it through Christmas
1. Let people know your expectations and get to know there’s
One of my biggest teachings with clients, Make sure you let people know what you can and can’t do upfront. Ask them what they expect from you. Then stick with that. Most arguments will be because you have conflicting expectations, that’s all arguments whether between couples families or friends. Manage those expectations
2. Cooking or Christmas dinner shopping
Firstly trying to park , wrestling and racing the ails of the supermarket looking for the last turkey which is just not the one you wanted, gambling on whether the supermarket or butcher has any left, it’s just not worth it in my eyes, Book a restaurant no washing up no mad trolley dash, failing that book everything online from the supermarket , right down to all the ready prepared trimmings and have it delivered to you , while you can relax on Christmas eve, most supermarkets deliver at a time suitable for yourself, book it in , and relax
3. Use your resources
If you’ve been suffer depression or anxiety anyway, you will know those who understand and support you, let them know, you may need help, how they can help, get that support network set up. Agree with a close friend that you can call or they can call to just check on you
4. it’s not as bad as you imagine
Go into Christmas looking forward, you never know, it usually is not as bad as we imagine these things to be, our mind usually works overtime to create situations that may or may not happen, trying to live in the future will cause you stress, living in the past will cause you depression, Check your time, think right this minute, today, things are ok.
5. Take the 'who cares' approach
Who cares if you didn’t hang the tree lights properly, who cares if you didn’t wrap all the presents in the same paper, and who cares if your Christmas is one where everything is bought in. At least your stress levels are not through the roof, when you start with that, ‘What if’ panic, just think What if it doesn’t matter /happen. Who really cares, will it be important in six months.
6. Soup kitchens
If you are due to be on your own at Christmas I really recommend helping out in a soup kitchen, you are with like minded. You’re not at home with beans on toast for dinner; yes I have done that Christmas before. The feelings of love and connection we all crave and even more so at Christmas , don’t necessarily have to come from family, get to the Salvation Army or CAB see whose cooking and go along and feel the love, it’s a thousand times more fulfilling than opening a present
11. Celebrate the life, don't mourn the loss
Would your loved one really be looking down and saying, hey spend today mourning over me? I think not. Find a way to spend a few minutes remembering them in a special way. Maybe light a lantern and let it float up to the sky, try tying a note of love onto it and really feel you send those great wishes and love. I’m sure anyone I have lost would want me to party in their place, and that’s the best way we can remember them.
12 Take a break
Love yourself, if you see a therapist treat yourself to an extra chill out mind session or book one with me, write a gratitude list for everything good that’s happened this year and thank yourself for being strong and surviving 100 percent of all your worst days. Where there is life there is hope, stay strong stay loved and enjoy
Have Fun xx
Jenni Bell DipHyp CNLP GQHR
Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Advanced Clinical Weight Loss Consultant