With the arrival of Christmas, everything seems celebrations, affection, and joy. However, these days an unexpected companion can appear anxiety. And no wonder. For many of us, the fact of having to organize for several dinners – family, friends, co-workers -, planning and buying the perfect gifts, organizing the time to travel and splitting up to see all of our loved ones can be too stressful. We share some strategies to control anxiety at Christmas.
In fact, some surveys have found that up to 6 of 10 adults can suffer anxiety during these dates. Therefore, it is important that we know what we can do to control our levels of anxiety and how we can cope with these holidays without sacrificing our mental health. For this, we have seven strategies that will help us.
Strategies to control Anxiety at Christmas
Both the purchase of gifts and the food for the holidays can be a source of stress for some people. Not only for thinking about what to buy, but for the economic outlay and for the number of agglomerations that we find as the month of December progresses.
Therefore, it is a good idea to advance purchases as much as we can. There are some to Alimentos that we can go buying previously and freeze them until we want to cook them. This, in addition to helping us to buy little by little, and not making a large outlay at once, will also prevent us from stacking and last-minute burdens.
In some cases, we live in cities different from our relatives, so at parties, we can travel to different cities or come to our homes. In any case, we spend the holidays in other people’s houses or they in ours, the truth is that we have less time for us.
The obligation to spend all the time with our relatives, pending of them, can make us feel a certain burden in some moments. Therefore, it is a good idea to reserve a few minutes a day for ourselves, to be alone and relax. We can use that time alone to carry out activities that we like and relax, such as listening to music, reading or doing relaxation exercises. It is important to control anxiety at Christmas.
A strategy that can help us stay somewhat more relaxed and suffer less stress is to plan. For that, it’s a good idea to start planning how much budget we have to spend on food and gifts. In this way, we will have a guide and we would not worry so much about moving on. On the other hand, planning how many people are going to give gifts, what we are going to give them and when and where we are going to buy them will help us to have it under control and not be overwhelmed with doing it at the last moment and in a hurry.
Alcohol consumption and anxiety do not get along too well. The more alcohol we consume, the more anxious we will feel. But not only that, but it can lead us to have inappropriate behavior that, in the long run, embarrasses us or makes us feel bad. It is important to control anxiety at Christmas.
Exceeding with food during these dates can also create some stress – especially in those who are trying to take care of their food – and lead us to feel guilty. It is a good idea to try to moderate our intake, but if we do not do it we must remember that it is something punctual caused by the parties and to forgive us.
In these festivals, we can feel the obligation to do a series of things – visit everyone because we have not seen them for a long time, eat with family instead of friends, etc. -. The best we can do in these cases is to put our priorities in order and try to guide them. It is important to control anxiety at Christmas.
If we feel like going to a coffee with our friends instead of spending an afternoon with the whole family, maybe it is a good idea to do so and propose another plan that we like more to be with the family at another time or vice versa. Whatever it is, we recognize and prioritize what we do want.
We know that these dates are different to almost any other time of the year. However, maintaining a sense of routine and control can help us feel more relaxed and reduce levels of anxiety. Therefore, if we usually go for a run, go to the gym, sleep a series of hours or follow a feeding pattern, it is recommended that we continue doing it during these dates.
Have a plan
When we suffer from anxiety or stress very often, we usually know what works for us to relax. Therefore, it is recommended that on these dates we have clear what we can do if we feel too anxious. In my case, for example, I know that the diaphragmatic breathing technique works for me and in times of stress, I look for a while to do it at night.
Other people work with relaxation techniques such as Jacobson’s or simply write about the emotions they are having. Be that as it may, we must know what works for us – a mental health professional can help us with this – and take the time to do it.