This year has been an interesting year. A year of lessons, growth, tears and happiness. Me like a lot of you suffer from anxiety and sometimes it will hit you at the most unexpected times. As I have got older and busier it can literally hit me at the happiest of times + Christmas time being one of them.
Many times, when suffering from anxiety or depression you simply want to stay at home and avoid social gatherings, with the holidays just around the corner I have put together some of my tips and tools that can help you navigate the party season from work events, to social gatherings even to Christmas day with the fam.
** Just a little reminder, mental health should always require an individualized approach. My tools and strategies might not be the perfect fit for you – but that’s OK**
I am generally an organised person. During the holiday season I am extra AF when it comes to being organized. I will sit down and do some planning before the holiday rush actually hits. Mapping out my schedule with any upcoming events, making notes of what gifts I need to buy and where, me time, workouts – actually everything is mapped out!
I find that being extra organised gives me the power to say no when you are at risk of over committing yourself!
Choose your people
Who you hang around with can have a significant impact on our health, as social interactions can affect both our physical and mental well-being. You must choose your social circles carefully even more in the holiday season. Your health and wellbeing are much more important.
Preparing my mind for the upcoming holiday season is a must. One easy way to do this is meditate. It can help with anxiety and depression. With apps like 1giantmind, Headspace and Insight Timer you have no excuse. During the busy holiday period there can be so many little things that can trigger you and I find by keeping my mind in check helps with being more calm and less reactive.
The holiday season is all about giving, however that doesn’t mean you are allowed to forget about yourself. Self-care is crucial when you are struggling with mental health, please don’t feel guilty if you spend less time with others and a little more on yourself. It can be anything from a face mask, a bath, reading a book or watching your all-time favourite Xmas movie. Take a little moment out of your day for yourself and it will help you feel more relaxed and prepared for the holiday season.
Moving My Body
Engaging in exercise can reduce anxiety and depression. Improve mood, boost self-confidence and minimize stress. So, moving your body this holiday season is a no brainer!
Massive fan of journaling. For me its gratitude journaling. I will do a list of things that I’m grateful for during that day or during the holiday season. Studies suggest that’s feelings of gratitude may even possess mental and physical health benefits.
More water, less caffeine.
You know those triggers? Well coffee and caffeinated drinks have been linked to anxiety. The more coffee you consume, the more likely you are to have anxiety or a panic attack. Did you know the caffeine mimics the symptoms we have when we are anxious? Such as an increased heart rate, so it might be best to limit your intake during the holiday season and increase your water intake.