How to manage anxiety over the xmas period
Here we are December 2020- how did that happen? Easily, we have all been dealing with pandemic and challenges it has brought. Even as Hypnotherapist and someone who has an advance understanding of mental health, it has been difficult. There have been moments of overwhelm and fatigue. I am starting to see more clients reporting symptoms of depression* and who are struggling even more so with the time of year.
The ONS has reported the number of people reporting moderate to severe symptoms has doubled since the pandemic began. Only a third of this group was experiencing similar symptoms prior to the pandemic. The causes are tenfold- limited social interaction, the loss of social hobbies, bereavement, loss employment, isolation, and economic instability.
We have lost several celebrations – Halloween, Eid, Guy Fawkes night, Diwali, Hanukkah, birthdays, and anniversaries. On top of that, it’s Christmas. For me it has always been about family and friends, personal traditions such as eating my first mince pie on Christmas eve and no earlier, but the merriment is not for all. It has been widely accepted it can trigger anxiety associated with entertaining, the financial burden and unrealistic expectations. In addition to this , we are considering our health and that of our loved ones and how we plan festivities flexibly.
Here are some tips from MindAbility to help you manage the time ahead. The emphasis is to help you have greater sense of emotional control so that you can enjoy this period.
Plan: have a contingency plan so if there is a change of circumstance because of unexpected isolation or further lockdown, you will be able to cope with it better if things change.
Be realistic: Take the pressure off and don’t expect it to be perfect and nor should all traditions be upheld. This may mean using video conferencing facilities to keep in touch. It maybe an opportunity to create new traditions.
Budgeting: finances maybe limited. Not just yours but those of family members too creating discomfort. Make presents or agree not to purchase any.
Accept your feelings: You may have experienced a bereavement or are feeling sad. Be kind to yourself and accept these feelings. Give yourself the credit for the little things you have achieved despite these feelings can help to break the negative thoughts.
Not today: if you are starting to feel overwhelmed by expectations learning to say ‘not today thanks’ may help to take the pressure off.
Take a break: Planning, watching endless TV and distanced socialization can mean that you don’t get a moment yourself. Take a break, go for a walk, have a nice shower to create some distance.
If you continue to struggle to break out of negative thoughts, are persistently experiencing sadness, irritability or struggle to sleep it may be helpful to book an initial consultation to discuss how MindAbility can help you get back on track.
*As a Hypnotherapist, my role is not to diagnose but to support sustainable change.
If you continue to struggle to break out of negative thoughts, are persistently experiencing sadness, irritability or struggle to sleep it may be helpful to book an initial consultation or contact MindAbility using the form below.