Anxiety and depression are common mental health problems, with around 3 million people in the UK suffering from an anxiety disorder and another 3 million with depression as their primary problem. 4-10% of people in the UK suffering from depression at some point in their life and 40% of worldwide disability is due to depression and anxiety.*
Chances are that you have friends, whether you know it or not, who suffer from anxiety or depression. Sharing a post with some tips to combat Christmas anxiety can not only help those people, but also shows your support and understanding for those suffering what can often be a very isolating or stigmatized disorder.
As tempted as we all get to “treat ourselves” over the festive period, it is important to remember the impact that food can have on our mood. Too much sugar and caffeine can cause us to peak and crash and often impacts on our emotions.
2- Drink Responsibly
Many people say that alcohol helps to relax their anxiety however, drinking too much and the following hangover can often lead us to feel worse. Know your limits and stay safe. Keep hydrated by drinking water and other non-alcoholic beverages.
3 – Keep Active
We can still go for a walk or maintain our exercise regimen during the festivities. Many gyms offer 24 hours access which means that we don’t need to miss out. ParkRun also have a lot of 5k runs organised for Christmas day, you can find details here:
4 – Distraction
If things do feel like they are getting too much, remember your distraction techniques.Calm Keys are available from the Anxiety UK website with accessible useful tips and advice on breathing, relaxation and distraction techniques on a handy keyring.
5 – Move at your own pace
Don’t feel pressured to get caught up in the whirlwind and rush of Christmas. Our reality of Christmas isn’t what we see on TV and social media and that is ok!
6 – Make time for yourself
Watch your favourite film, read a book, listen to music. Be sure to practice some self-preservation and be kind to yourself. Spend at least one day in your pyjamas and relax!
7 – Have a plan for the party season
If you are heading out to a party or night out, be sure to have a plan in place for if your anxiety does peak. Speak to a friend ahead of your festive plans and discuss the best methods to help you if you enter a panic. This means that you have a trusted person who is equipped to help you cope and make you feel safe.
8 – Mindfulness
10 minutes of Mindfulness practice each day could help to keep you grounded, calm and relaxed. Headspace offers sessions on stress, anxiety, depression and SOS sessions perfect for panic. You can get a one year’s free subscription to Headspace through Anxiety UK membership packages.
9 – Know where you can turn to for support
Anxiety UK is open for the majority of the Christmas season at our usual hours.
10 – Rest.
Be sure to get plenty of sleep and rest during Christmas. Feeling tired can lead to us feeling less able to cope. Grab yourself and early night or nice lie in.