This year more than ever Christmas is going to be a difficult time for all of us, with many of us feeling our levels of anxiety, stress and/or anxiety based depression have been heightened like never before.
While our plans for Christmas may have been revised or changed to abide by the restrictions placed on us due to the pandemic, it’s still important to be prepared for what this year may bring.
1 – Stay connected
For many people living with anxiety, stress and/or anxiety based depression, their support network is a vital tool to help them manage their condition. The restrictions placed on us all by Covid-19 is disrupting that for many of you but use whatever means you are able to stay connected with loved ones and those closest to you. Be creative, use technology to stay in touch and don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and feelings; it can be good to talk and it’s ok to not be ok – even at Christmas.
2 – Don’t Over Indulge
As tempted as we all get to “treat ourselves” over the festive period, it is important to remember the impact that food can have on our mood. Too much sugar and caffeine can cause us to peak and crash and often impacts on our emotions. For tips and advice on healthy eating download our Nutrition and Anxiety self-help guide here
3- Drink Responsibly – even at home
While the pub may not be an option this year, drinking at home still needs to be in moderation. Many people say that alcohol helps to relax their anxiety however, drinking too much and the following hangover can often lead us to feel worse. Know your limits and stay safe. Keep hydrated by drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
4 – Keep Active
Despite the restrictions of the various tiers system we can still go for a walk or maintain our exercise regimen during the festivities even if your local gyms are closed. Use the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and if you can just observe nature and admire it.
5 – Distraction
If things do feel like they are getting too much, remember your distraction techniques. Calm Keys are available from the Anxiety UK website with accessible useful tips and advice on breathing, relaxation and distraction techniques on a handy keyring.
6 – Move at your own pace
Don’t feel pressured to get caught up in the whirlwind and rush of Christmas. It’s going to be different for many of us this year in any case and even in a normal year our reality of Christmas isn’t what we see on TV and social media and that is ok!
7 – Make time for yourself
Watch your favourite film, read a book, listen to music. Be sure to practice some self-preservation and be kind to yourself. Spend at least one day in your pyjamas and relax!
8 – Mindfulness
10 minutes of Mindfulness practice each day could help to keep you grounded, calm and relaxed. Headspace offers sessions on stress, anxiety, depression and SOS sessions perfect for panic. You can get a one year’s free subscription to Headspace through Anxiety UK membership packages.
9 – Know where you can turn to for support
Anxiety UK is open for the majority of the Christmas season at our usual hours. You can find our opening times here:
10 – Rest.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep and rest during Christmas. Feeling tired can lead to us feeling less able to cope. Use the holiday break to grab yourself an early night or nice lie in.