Do you feel lonelier at Christmas?
Not everyone will be looking forward to this season. Among the population there are many people, young and old that will be alone at Christmas time. You may have encountered loss, loneliness or faced disappointment. That has left you wanting to reclude from the joyous season. So how do you not get stressed at Christmas especially when you know you will be alone?
A leading mental health charity has highlighted that approximately a third of the population will be alone at Christmas but are too embarrassed to admit this.
Do you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope? Do the festivities fill you with anxiety and the pressures seem unmanageable?
We all react to the demands of Christmas differently. Many things may cause us to feel stretched. The unexpected. A list of social events. Busy time at work. Expectations from family. We may not have control over these circumstances. Money is tight. The list of presents is unending. This can cause us to choose the ‘fight or flight’ response.
There are various types of stress. The key is to identify and help yourself. To manage and reduce the effects that the pressure and demands of Christmas brings. A season filled with joy, hope and peace. But, now so commercial can place on you. To cause you to become ‘stressed’ or ‘stress out’.
In the middle of the chaos, take a moment to remember what Christmas means to you. Think about your lifestyle and consider how to reevaluate it is the first step. If you feel extremely stressed then it is advisable to get professional help. Or find a suitable app like Breathe2Relax that can assist you track your stress levels.
Christmas is a time to enjoy with family and friends focussed on the birth of Christ. If you concentrate on why this season is important to you and do as much as you realistically can.
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10 tips to help you get through this season…
- Make a list of all the things you feel you are able to do. That will not financially and emotionally impact on you. It is unrealistic to place high expectations on yourself. Be honest if you are unable to meet the ideals of others.
- Personally I love volunteering at Christmas, because this is an appreciation for others and will not only boost your self-esteem but of those you spend time with. Suggestions include homeless and elderly charities. My choice is volunteering for a local elderly charity Christmas Day party.
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you are unable to attend every event with work colleagues, friends or family. Learn when to say no if you have to.
- Take time to rest. Get a good night’s sleep. With the longer nights and shorter days our bodies need sleep recovery for us to function better. Both cognitively and physically.
- Choose healthier eating options. Instead of the platters of unhealthy snacks and sweet treats. Healthier food is more beneficial to your well being and helps lift your mood.
- Learn how to drink in moderation if this is something that you struggle with. Alcohol will not make your problems better. You may find you feel worse after.
- Set a time in your schedule to relax. Take some time to have a spa pampering shower or luxurious bath. Slow down and simply unwind by watching a Christmas film.
- Remind yourself of all the things in your life right now that you are grateful for. Good health. Surrounded by friends and family who care.
- Learn breathing exercises for those tough moments. Deep slow breaths. Count to 5 or 10. Focus on calming yourself down. Then tackle the situation. Walk away if you have to. Rather than getting into an argument.
- If you are alone this Christmas, look after yourself first. There are so many volunteering opportunities that allow you to step away from your own anxieties and disappointment. Such as helping at a homeless shelter or elderly care home. In the process you will enjoy the time spent helping others. And be amazed at the rewards this will bring.
Stress, anxiety and coping with the issues of loss and relationship problems is real this Christmas. So if you need help, please reach out to someone you trust or your GP. Who can assist you in handling your anxiety. Find an online helpline that can help talk you through the tough moments you might be facing. And signpost you to professional help. Don’t feel alone. There are numerous resources available where you can find hope and deal with your stress.
Whether you feel nervous about trying new things, these tips will help you expand your social sklls, practice kindness, reduce your tendency to avoid certain social situations and practice saying no or setting boundaries if Christmas can be an overwhelming time.