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Coping with anxiety during the holidays

Christmas is typically a period filled with packed schedules. More parties means more socialising. Being surrounded by loved ones help make us feel appreciated, secure and ultimately happy. However, that’s only one side of the coin. What if the Christmas season does not provide you with those textbook feelings and instead you have a dark cloud of worries, uncertainty and unease surrounding this time.

We may all come face to face with stress during this time. Even making a trip to the supermarket can jack-up anxiety levels. This stress we feel may stem from financial worries, more social gatherings, loneliness or be down to drinking more alcohol than usual.

This piece gives us an idea on how to care for ourselves emotionally during this hectic period:

- For example, sharing difficult feelings with loved ones not only helps others understand you more, but also does wonders in lifting your mood. Contact Samaritans helpline for free on 116 123 if you feel more comfortable opening up to someone else. There is ALWAYS someone who listens on the other end.

- Another way to self-care is being mindful of a shift in drinking habits. Alcohol is a depressant, therefore any symptoms of depression or anxiety (hopelessness, sadness, helplessness, worrying) may be emphasised even more so with alcohol.

- More late night parties can alter daily sleeping patterns. These can be difficult for the body and mind to adjust to. Studies have shown how sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and depressive disorder, so it’s no wonder they call it beauty sleep, eh. Lack of sleep can make you feel on edge, cranky, have low tolerance and low patience for others. Finally, the obvious one, low energy levels. One night of bad sleep can trigger a frustratingly vicious cycle of sleep anxiety.

When on the same page with your mental health and well-being needs, it can help you understand yourself more. Knowing your limits and noticing how your psychological and physical health alters when there is a change in your everyday routine lets you decide whether or not these seasonal behaviours are helpful. You may ask yourself whether you want to act upon this new awareness? You may even want to share your experience with someone else and discover you’re not alone. You will ultimately have control on how you want to feel during this party period.

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