3 tips to help ease anxiety at Christmas…

Christmas can be a fabulous time of year , in fact Christmas can be the best time of year. It can also be absolutely ram packed full of stress and anxiety triggers and noise and mess and chaos and worst of all…..

All.The.People.

Now I’ve been an anxious mess for knocking on for a decade now . Though thankfully anxiety is a rare visitor these days – in the same way you don’t see great uncle Bob all year round ’till he turns up at your front door ,half cut, on Christmas eve the same goes for anxiety for me.

I know everyone’s experiences of anxiety are different and I can only talk about mine but I have learnt a few tricks over the years to lessen it’s grip slightly over Christmas.

1) Don’t over commit
There are so many social events around Christmas time from the works night out to the catch up with the friend you mean to see all year to family get togethers. 

However saying yes (often for THE FEAR of saying no) to 3 parties a week when you know social anxiety is upon you is never going to end well. There’s little more stressful than knowing you’re going to cancel on people and then having to spend the whole day psyching yourself up enough to actually do it.

So choose the events you really want to go to and ditch the ones that you feel obliged to.

2) Give someone you trust a heads up.

Helpful if either you’re having people over for Christmas or if you’re going to someone elses where there are going to be a fair few people and you know you might at some point need a bit of a time out . That you might need to remove yourself from noise and over stimulation (and those damn people again) tell your partner or friend or aunt or mother in law. Let them know beforehand that this could be the case. 
You could even use a code phrase , you know if the rest of the family have you down as a solid individual living the shit out of life and you don’t want to blow your superhero ‘anxiety girl’ cover.

If you’re at your own house it’s possibly easier to slope off for 10 mins calm but if you’re at someone elses just have a code phrase. “I just need to make a phone call ” ( people call each other up on Christmas day , it’s passable) could mean “I am just going to sit in your spare room for a bit and get my mind together ,please leave me be”

3) Seek out the company of children

This possibly could just be me but during an anxious period children are great to be around. Yes I know my previous words about over stimulation don’t fit what I’m saying but stay with me. Just joining in with kids at Christmas can be an almighty distraction technique. I personally find it hard to worry about whether I drain everyone and noone wants me there when I’ve a small person singing me When Santa got Stuck up the Chimney or telling me all about the toy of the year Santa brought them. 
Conflict is a huge anxiety trigger for me also so I’d rather join in with a group of kids debating who the best superhero is than listen to Great Uncle Bob (yes him again ) being a racist , sexist bigot. He’s basically The Daily Mail in human form and causes you palpitations just listening to him rant.

For the record : I don’t have a Great Uncle Bob…we’ve all met this guy though right? 

I hope these tips can help even if just a little bit. Christmas can actually be a lovely time for those of us who struggle to feel cherished and worthwhile as people because most people are at their loveliest and kindest at Christmas and freer with their encouraging words (it’s probably the Bailey’s) 

I hope your Christmas is filled with as much social interaction as you can handle and that get as much physical affection as you can cope with/crave!!
Xxx


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JakiJellz

Not Just the 3 of Us

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26 thoughts on “3 tips to help ease anxiety at Christmas…

  1. Great tips! Especially the one about not over committing. Already being asked what time we’re going to be here and there on Christmas day and I’ve refused to commit to a time. With a baby it’s impossible to say as we don’t know what time she’s going to wake up, how long she’ll want to play with her new toys for, when she’ll nap etc #TriumphantTales

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  2. Christmas can be a stressful time as it is without having to cope with anxiety issues as well. I think too much pressure is placed on expectations being fulfilled, so you’re right, don’t agree to do too much in the first place. I’ve always adored Christmas but this year I’m not feeling it. Our kids are older teens and today one even forgot to look in his Advent calendar. We haven’t put the decs up yet because I’ve been ill, and frankly I’m not sure anyone’s even noticed! Bah humbug… #TweensTeensBeyond

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  3. Yep – it can be a time when everything comes to the fore Kelly. Such a shame when it is such a special time. I think we’ve all had one of ‘those’ Christmasses! I think we learn from it and know what we don’t want. Time out and a Bailey’s is always good for a bit of a breather isn’t it. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

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  4. Christmas this year is going to be interesting as its all gone tits up with the plans we had! So no doubt my anxiety is gonna be going crazy!! Luckily hubby will be by my side ready to help me!
    Thank you for sharing these tips with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!!

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  5. I can relate to these feelings. I have social anxiety and do not do crowds at all. I totally agree with hanging with the kids for a bit to get away from it all! They are so carefree and fun and more open than adults I find. We have ALOT of family coming over the Christmas and New Year period (as in, one lot after the other for probably the duration of a few months) and I am trying to figure out how the heck I’m going to handle it lol

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  6. These are what I live by! I try not to over commit, my husband knows what sets me off and is always aware when he should step in as the extrovert and help, and children always set me at ease! What a brilliant post!
    #blogcrush

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  7. I think it’s really important to know your limits and to not over-commit. Christmas is my worst time of year because of all the visiting we’re expected to do, I’m always glad when that side of it is over! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

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  8. I totally agree, Christmas is not a good time for mental health all together. We’re actually going away for Christmas this year and i’m not sure if that will make me more or less anxious. We are meeting up with some friends/family after Christmas so at least i have a bit longer to get the gifts!! Thanks so much for joining us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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  9. Our wedding anniversary falls over Christmas too so it is always a bit full on with the celebrating and by the time New Year comes knocking I am burnt out and ready for a quiet night in. Over committing is a guarantee however hard I try and I am already paying the price of that by being so late commenting this week which is stressing me out! Time to take a deep breath and a squirt of Bach Rescue Remedy. Some great tips here Kelly, like you talking time out when it is all too much sets me straight too! Hope you have a great Christmas. #TweensTeensBeyond

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