Tis the season to be jolly - if that’s true, why do so many of us find we’re totally stressed out when it comes to Christmas?
Here are top ten most common Christmas stressors – and what to do about them.1. One of the first, and biggest fears that people have at Christmas, is the fear of being lonely. Even people who are perfectly fine being single normally might wonder why they are single.
Remind yourself that for every single person out there, there is someone in a relationship who feels equally lonely. And learn to enjoy your own company.2. Many people dread Christmas because of having to spend time (and lots of it) with their family.
Do yourself, and your family a favour, and tell them you plan to restrict your time with them, to have some ‘me time’. Set the boundaries before you hit the Christmas season.3. You don’t want to be the person that everyone is talking about in the wake of the office party.
Make a firm promise to yourself not to drink so much that you lose control of things. If you find that curbing your drinking is a problem, maybe now is the time to seek help.4. You find yourself spending more on gifts than you can afford.
Be mindful to only give what you can afford and let people know you’re only going to spend so much. Set a budget and stick to it.5. You feel under pressure to keep up with your friends on social media by having more tree and decorations.
Take a stand on things. You don’t have to buy into the consumerism. Be someone who displays individualism and doesn't feel the need to ‘keep up with the Jones’.6. How can you budget when you don’t know who to buy for?
Plan who you WANT to buy for, and then tell everyone else, that you’re not buying many presents. It only becomes awkward if you are not clear about things.7. You over-indulge on all the Christmas treats.
Plan your menu BEFORE Christmas, and allow yourself a certain number of treats per day. Then, stick to that. You have self-control (and if you really don’t, perhaps you should seek some help).8. At social occasions friends and family ask what you are doing now or what you’ve been up to and you feel unprepared.
Have a look at your life and assess things before arriving at Christmas. You know this conversation is coming - so turn up to gatherings this year with your answer ready; ‘well funny you should ask that because actually…’9. Having spent way more than is realistic, when January arrives we have no idea how we will manage things financially.
Follow some of the steps above: Cut back on gift spending, plan your menu, refuse to keep up with the Jones’… If you have an ongoing problem with curbing spending maybe you need to get help to address that.10. People who are shy, or struggle with something such as social anxiety disorder, can find Christmas to be a particular challenge.
You aren’t alone and you really don’t have to see anyone if you don’t want to. However, Christmas can be so much fun, why not make this year THE year that you refuse to be a victim of social anxiety, and seek help to get this issue sorted.
It’s normal to stress about Christmas. But if the festive season highlights some issues for you then consider seeing a therapist who specialises in tackling fear, stress and worry, and can instill a more confident mindset.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Christopher Paul Jones, aka The Breakthrough Expert, is a therapist based in Harley Street who specialises in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias; from a fear of public speaking to anxieties around work, Christopher has helped 100s of people ‘let go’ and get their lives back. He even cured his own morbid fear flying, to the extent he was able to take a sightseeing flight through the Pyrenees – strapped to the OUTSIDE of a helicopter!
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