December 7th 2016
How to cope with Christmas overwhelm
December 19th 2016
Christmas cheer turning into festive fear? Channel the wise words of anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge for a calmer, happier Christmas
Christmas is considered by many to be the most stressful time of year. However, that needn't be the case for you if you follow these practical tips for a calmer Christmas...
No, not the food and alcohol kind of detox (it is Christmas after all); I'm talking about a digital detox. Christmas is the perfect time to have a rest from digital devices, unplug and just enjoy being present (pun intended!) with your loved ones.
It's incredible how being glued to our phones can cause added stress; with the constant buzz of new tweets, anxiety-provoking world news and the temptation to check work emails, it's information overload. Having a rest from your phone and computer could be just the thing to ensure you have a relaxing Christmas.
Can't face a full digital detox? Keep devices on aeroplane mode between certain hours to minimise overloading yourself.
Schedule in time for you
Christmas often includes a lot of travel, Christmas parties and seeing family but remember to take time for yourself away from the Christmas festivities and take a moment to chill and recharge. How can you enjoy yourself properly if you're always exhausted?
I'm a big fan of scheduling; if it's not scheduled in, it often doesn't end up happening. So with that in mind, schedule in some quiet time for yourself; a run, mindful walk or a hot bath are great ideas, to make sure you're taking care of yourself and resting.
Review your expectations
The majority of our stress comes from the gap between our expectations and our reality. If you're expecting to have a relaxing day in front of the telly but your mother-in-law has you up early prepping spuds, this is likely to cause you more stress - and if you knew this would be the case then you would have been more mentally prepared for it.
Be as realistic as you can about your Christmas experience and try not to set too high expectations of a 'perfect' day. Check beforehand what the plans will be and where you're expected to be and when. That way, at least you'll be prepared and you won't get any stressful surprises.
Learn to say 'no'
Many of us have a problem with saying 'no' and setting boundaries with people. We want to keep people happy, don't want to let them down and we certainly don't want to miss out!
Sometimes, we'll say yes to something even though we're too tired and overstretched, and we end up exhausted and quietly resenting the people we've said yes to.
Know that it’s ok to say no to things; it's a busy time of year and people will understand. Your health and happiness are more important.
Keep things in perspective
So what if your tiramisu didn't turn out as good as last year, your sister's present for your mum was slightly better than the one you chose and you got more than a little tipsy at the office party? Ask yourself, 'Will this even matter in a week’s time?
Most things aren't as big of a deal as our brains make them out to be. Things blow over, people are too drunk to care about your cooking, it's the thought that counts when it comes to presents and your colleagues love 'drunk you' anyway. Let go of needing things to be perfect and give yourself permission to just focus on having fun and spending time with those you love.
Wishing you a peaceful and happy Christmas!
Chloe Brotheridge is a hypnotherapist and anxiety expert. Get sent a FREE relaxation MP3 from Chloe at Calmer You by clicking here and for tips and advice on managing anxiety, visit www.calmer-you.com.
For information on 121 sessions of hypnotherapy in London see www.easywaytochange.co.uk.
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