Christmas can be extremely stressful, I have spoken to clients this week who are worried about presents, food, family relationships, time and much more.
There is always just so much to do right? All for ONE DAY!!!
So, here are my top self-care tips to make sure you actually enjoy the whole festive period.
A lot of the things people stress about aren’t as important as they think they are. Finding the perfect present for some distant cousin you see once a year is not worth the stress it causes.
Ask yourself questions like “What do I know they like?” and “What do I know they will use?” if you can get something that they like or will use then you are on to a winner. If you can’t answer those questions then be OK with getting them something nice and generic.
Giving can actually make us happy when we approach it in the right way so be realistic with how personal each gift can be and enjoy finding nice, funny or useful things to buy or make for people.
Perfectionism is a common cognitive distortion that people with anxiety often struggle with, have a read of my blog on practicing negative thoughts to see if you struggle with any other cognitive distortions.
Similar to the perfectionism tip, try not to see the presents you buy people as an expression of your love for them. Particularly in couples there can often be the temptation to spend huge amounts as a show of love. Something small and meaningful can actually show more love than lavish displays of gifts.
On the flip side, if you feel that you haven’t received enough from someone you care about consider all the great things they bring to your life the rest of the year before getting upset.
Same with kids, I don’t remember ANY of the presents I received when I was 10. What I do remember are the amazing lunches my mum used to make and watching daft films with my dad (we called them tootsie wootsie films, no idea why).
Consider how you can make Christmas a great experience and fun rather than overcompensating with gifts.
This might seem like an odd self-care tip but overspending can have negative effects on your life long after Christmas is over. Whether it’s paying off a credit card or loan or slowly dragging yourself out of an overdraft, make sure you have enough money for yourself for the rest of January.
Not all self-care is bubble baths, sometimes something as simple as budgeting can be a huge positive step for yourself.
Consider also gifts you can give that don’t cost much but mean a lot such as visiting an elderly relative or offering to do the dreaded washing up after Christmas lunch.
Christmas gets so busy and it’s a great reason for families to get together but make sure you get some you time when you need it. This is where the bubble bath can come in or if you practice meditation then make sure you carry on doing it.
If you aren’t into meditation then that’s fine, get yourself a good book or your favourite Christmas movie and make sure you get some down time and peace and quiet. Particularly if you are an introverted type person, getting some time and space to yourself is a key part of keeping yourself in good mental health over this busy time.
Christmas can often be stressful if you end up being the one who shoulders a lot of the responsibility. Make sure you say no when you know that something is going to be too much for you. It is never one person’s job to provide Christmas for everyone.
Make sure you tell other people how they can help with the load, if people are coming to lunch then ask them to bring dishes with them that you then don’t have to prepare or buy. If cooking is really not their thing (an excuse that often gets used) then they can bring condiments or a cheese board that requires no cooking at all.
A warning however, if you let people help you then leave them to get on with their thing. Try not to force perfectionism on someone else by forcing them to do it a certain way.
It can seem like it is much better to stay inside over the dull wet UK Christmas BUT it is actually still really important to go outdoors.
Even if it is just for a short walk you will find that it boosts your mood and really helps you appreciate the cosy nights in. It is also probably a good idea to burn off some of the extra calories that we all eat around this time.
Other things you can do to get outside and Christmassy is take a walk around your local area and have a look at the Christmas lights that people have put up around their houses.
If you need some extra support this Christmas then have a look at how Anxiety 2 Confidence can help you. You can take a look at our range of courses here or you can download a free workbook and see what negative thoughts are affecting you here
I hope you have a lovely Christmas!!
The way we think has a huge impact on our mental health. If you are looking to overcome your anxiety or just improve your mental health then first you need to know what thoughts are making things worse.
This download gives you a list of the most common ways we think negatively. All you need to do is see which ones you do most.
Also, keep an eye on your emails! I will be sending you a really useful video that goes with this exercise.