Christmas is a time filled of magical memories surrounded by all your loved ones, well thats what it’s meant to be right? For some, the anxiety over Christmas can be overwhelming. The sheer amount of food and drink you are accompanied with throughout the day, can sometimes lead to anxiety attacks and the day being ruined.
I’ve experienced this in the past and i’m here to try and give you some tips on how to help you throughout the day, just some things i found to help me and some things i wish i had done!
First of all, even though it’s a time for family and friends, it’s also important that you take some time during the day to yourself. Having this time to yourself will allow you to reset your emotions, take time off from the craziness of your household and just switch off from any anxiety you are feeling. Let people know you are going upstairs for 20 minutes, they won’t ask why as they will be busy cooking or entertaining, just make sure that you can have that time alone. For some this might be the complete opposite of what you need, as anxiety effects everyone differently. You might find that by being in a busy environment might take your mind off the anxiety that you are feeling. Just do what is right for you at the time you need to, and make people aware that if you do need time alone, that’s what you are going to do.
Pace yourself! When there is a HUGE table of food in front of you, personally thats what i find overwhelming, just take your time, breathe and listen to your body. I can not stress that enough. Listening to when your belly feels full is essential. Of course Christmas is apparently the time to indulge, but, if you are like me, and will feel anxious if you indulge tooooo much, it’ll just ruin the day. Take your time, enjoy the food you are eating and when you are full, stop. The food will most probably still be there tomorrow too, so anything you didn’t get to try, is always available on another day…i mean that’s just Christmas isn’t it, leftovers for weeks!! And remember! One bad meal doesn’t make you ‘fat’, one good meal doesn’t make you ‘healthy’. Also, if you know eating certain foods will make you anxious, for me Ben and Jerry’s is one of those unfortunately, try to avoid them or just limit the amount you eat. By doing this you’ll feel so much better and maybe even proud that you thought about yourself and looked after yourself!
Mindset it something that i have changed a lot in the last year. It’s something that can be tough i’ll admit. But once you start making the small changes it’ll help hugely with anxiety. On Christmas day, i want you to try and just enjoy the moment. As soon as you start overthinking anything, count to 10, take a deep breathe and sing a Christmas song to yourself in your head, or even hum it! The one thing with anxiety is that it can completely take over your thoughts and flood you with fear. Living in the moment and enjoying that moment will really help you. It’s massively helped me. I don’t think of things until i need to think of them. I won’t think about Christmas dinner until it’s on the table in front of me. I won’t think about all the food, i’ll just enjoy the piece of food i am currently eating. It might sound extreme, but for me i find that it works.
One more thing that i wish i had done is to talk to people. I found it so so hard to talk out about when i was feeling anxious as i was kind of ashamed, but i shouldn’t have felt like this. It’s so normal and so common no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed about anxiety. Talking about feeling anxious is so important. If you really really reallllllly don’t want to talk about it to anyone, when you have your 10,20 or 30 minutes to yourself, write your feelings down. It’ll help you to get your emotions off your chest and hopefully relieve the anxiety.
Last of all, just believe you can enjoy it. Don’t do any of the above to make someone else’s Christmas lovely, do it so that you have the best Christmas. I know it’s hard, scary and intimidating, BUT, it’s all possible. If there is something in specific that you get anxious about and you’re not sure how to deal with it, just comment below. I’ll try my best to give advice, obviously i’m no expert, but i can relate, and there might be someone else that is reading this who has experienced the same thing which can help you! Let’s all help each other and build a community where we can talk about these things out loud.