Beating Holiday Stress

Posted on: 19/12/2016

The festive season is meant to be a time of joy, but for many it can be a time of stress, anxiety, disappointment and loneliness. Things don't always go to plan, so here are some steps you can take to help manage stress and anxiety during the holidays. 

(1) Plan Ahead

Make a list of the things you need to do for Christmas (shopping, food, presents etc). Make it as detailed as possible and try to prioritise each item

(2) Know when to stop

Decide when you will stop your Christmas preparation and start to relax and enjoy the holidays. Work to this date and try to stick to it. 

(3) Keep Calm

Play some relaxing music (maybe even Christmas Carols!), burn some scented candles or take a relaxing bath. 

(4) Practice Breathing 

Stress causes our heart beat to increase and our breathing shallows, it's all part of the fight/flight reaction. Work on reversing this by taking the time to breathe deeply.

Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for 15-20 seconds, then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat for a few minutes you'll be surprised at how instantly calm you'll feel. 

(5) Stay active

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. So make use of daylight savings and the great weather and go for a walk after dinner - the fresh air is guaranteed to life your mood.

(6) Limit the partying

Alcohol dehydrates your body and makes your liver work overtime, so drink as much water as possible to help you stay hydrated, feel better and cope better with stressful situations. 

(7) Have an 'escape' plan

Have some pre-planned excuses to escape from proceedings if they get too stressful. Be imaginative and use things such as leaving the room to make a phone call to a friend. Actually leaving even just for 5mins, will help clear your mind. 

(8) Have fun!!


Looking for something fun to do with the kids?

Here are a few ideas of things to do with the kids these holidays that won't break the bank.

  • Make Christmas decorations
  • Enjoy a movie together
  • Read books
  • Go for a walk and look at all the Christmas lights around the neighbourhood
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Visit friends
  • Have a picnic
  • Go to the park
  • Check out the 'what's on' section in your local paper for more ideas. 

In case of an emergency please ring Lifeline: 13 11 14

Read the entire Connect News Summer 2016 Issue

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