Don’t get me wrong, I love getting my dog a sparkly red collar, watching Home Alone ( but not the 2nd one 😳), making mince pies, hanging up Christmas decorations, and looking at Christmas lights, but Christmas can also be a time for extreme stress and it’s the month where people often start their first therapy session.
On a personal level I worry about homeless people and the amount of animals being eaten for Christmas dinner. Tofurkey is great! I also find family events nerve wracking, and always find at least one relative drinks too much and another says something odd.
I thought it might be useful to detail the things that I find helpful, as well as family members / mental health experts I’ve asked.
- If a family member is making you uncomfortable either leave the room (there is always the bathroom in a pinch) or explain you don’t want to talk about that subject right now. Don’t apologise.
- If you find family lunch/ dinner/ party a bit tricky, enlist a lovely friend to text when you are stressed.
- Learn some sort of breathing. Count to ten in and out, try fire breathing, imagine your belly as balloon, visualise a bright light going all throughout your body, or listen to music while breathing deeply.
- Do some yoga and find what feels good. The yoga with Adrienne channel is wonderful and amazing and life changing.
- If something makes you feel gut wrenchingly awful; find an alternative, change something, or say no to all of it or at least some of it.
- If you are a plant based guy or gal, it’s totally okay to turn up with your own meat alternative, if you know there won’t be any options except sprouts and sadness.
- Eat your greens, drink your water and don’t feel bad if you eat 6 mince pies or drink too much. The gym will be there next week. It’s one day. Love you ❤️
- If seeing happy holiday posts on social media makes you anxious; unplug for a few days.
- Treating yourself to a new outfit, skin product, or haircut can really help if you are nervous for something.
- Start a new podcast, audio book or watch a new youtuber if you need distraction or can’t sleep
- My personal self care things include swimming, going outside, reading and taking naps. And my dog Lola of course.