Keep stress at bay this Christmas

For many people, Christmas can be a very stressful time of year. Crowded shops, children bored with their gifts by Boxing Day, and the expectation that you should be festive and jolly can all take their toll. According to Beating Anger, nearly one in two adults say that an argument over Christmas has made them want to end their relationship. And one in four feels that their relationship is under pressure over Christmas. If you find this time of year something to endure rather than enjoy, the staff at Anxiety UK have the following helpful tips to see you through to 2nd January!

  1. Anxiety UK’s CEO, Nicky Lidbetter, says that she tries to stick to her usual routine as much as possible, whilst still making time to enjoy time with her family at Christmas. “For me, the biggest part of reducing my stress and anxiety is going for a run. I will make time in all of the busyness to ensure I have that bit of time for myself and it really does make a huge difference for me.” Making time for yourself, whatever you enjoy doing, is very important. Don’t let the pressure of the day make you ignore your need to look after yourself. Even if it means 5 minutes on your own reading a magazine, it is worth doing to ensure the pressure of the season doesn’t get on top of you.
  2. Andrew Kearins, Anxiety UK’s Services Manager, advises that it’s OK to say no to an invitation to a party or get-together if you are not up to it. “There is the expectation this time of year that people should have plans every day over the Christmas period and that saying no to, for example, mince pies and tea with the neighbours is somehow rude. If you feel like it’s all getting a bit too much, cut back on your commitments and say no once in a while.”
  3. “I’m a planner at the best of times and this is particularly important during Christmas,” advises Terri Torevell, Anxiety UK’s Communications Officer. “I make lists so that I don’t forget things, buy an extra box of chocolates or two just in case someone pops round and I don’t have a gift for them and I shop online where possible to avoid having to fight the crowds.”
  4. Anxiety UK’s Administrator, Hannah Maycraft, advises that sharing the load is important. “The success or failure of Christmas is not just down to one person. Ask for help and share the responsibilities with those around you to ensure that no one person feels over-burdened by everything.”
  5. “Take time to enjoy what the Christmas period includes,” advises Membership Coordinator, Pete Nunes. “It’s a great time to indulge, within reason of course, and allow yourself a bit of a break.”
  6. Susana Castro, Anxiety UK’s Mentoring Coordinator, advises getting out of the city if possible. “I live in Central Manchester and find it very important to get out of the city to retreat to somewhere with more space, especially in the build up to Christmas. For this reason, I try to get all of my Christmas shopping done well in advance so that I don’t fight the crowds in the run up to Christmas.”
  7. “Our final tip is that giving back this time of year can lift mood and increase your spirit. Giving to Anxiety UK has become even easier with our new Text to Donate service. Just text ANUK13 to 70070 to donate £1. Funds will ensure that our helpline is able to continue to provide support to those affected by anxiety well into the future. Many thanks for any gift you can give.”

We hope that all of our members and supporters will take the time to enjoy Christmas and celebrate with friends and family. If you need our support during this time, click here for a full listing of our opening hours and other helpful numbers to ring.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!