Tips to stay stress-free this silly season

As 2020 comes to a close and the festive season kicks off, we’ve pulled together some ideas to help get you through the silly season with a little less stress.

  • Make a to-do list
  • Long work hours and the pressure to get things finished before Christmas can add to the load as we prepare for events, gift giving or a long overdue trip away.
  • To keep your plans in check, try creating a list of what you’d like to do as well as what you have to get done. Do the best you can with the time and resources you have. If you can’t fit something in, then it might be time to use one of the most powerful stress reduction tools – the two-letter word ‘No!’ Aim to be realistic about what you will and won’t get done. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by trying to do too much.
  • Keep family time fun
  • Holidays can be tricky for many families. When we spend additional time together or catch up after long periods apart, we can often experience family-related stress. Prepare yourself for family catch ups by being realistic about what the event will be like. Spend time focusing on the things you can control and don’t let your mind become overwhelmed with the things you can’t. If the adult conversations become too much, try hanging out with the kids! But mostly importantly remember to set aside some personal time for yourself.
  • Missing festive cheer
  • Christmas can be a difficult for those who have lost loved ones, are separated due to COVID travel restrictions or who are unable to connect with family and friends to celebrate.
  • If you’re alone this Christmas, try volunteering or attending community events to connect with others. You could also buy yourself a special gift, make a fancy breakfast, or set off on a hike, a bike ride or a long drive.
  • Stick to a routine
  • Christmas is often a time where routines get a little side-tracked. Work events, Christmas parties and social outings sound great until our clothes get a little tighter and we begin to feel sluggish.
  • Try eating well during the lead up to Christmas day. Make simple food swaps by trading fatty and sugary foods for healthy alternatives. Limit alcoholic or sugary drinks, and control your portion sizes – maybe just one serving of pavlova instead of two.
  • If you do overindulge, get back into a healthy routine as soon as you can. Jump back into your exercise routine or find other ways to get moving such as going for evening walks.
  • Stay financially fit
  • With gift giving, extra travel and social events it’s no wonder the bank balance can take a hit over the holiday season. To keep on track with spending, try sticking to a budget.
  • Plan and make spending decisions early to avoid regret and the temptation to impulse buy. You can also look at low-cost ways to have fun such as BBQs in the park or a holiday lunch where everyone brings a plate.
  • Access Support  
  • If you’re feeling like the most wonderful time of the year isn’t so wonderful, you’re not alone. Not everyone feels festive at Christmas, and mental health can be extra difficult to manage at this time of year.
  • If things feel overwhelming, it’s important to seek help. Talk through how you are feeling with someone you trust or call the incredible team at Lifeline 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 for a chat.
  • There is always someone ready to listen.

OzHelp’s office will close from the Wednesday 23rd December until Monday 4th January. For support during this time, please call 1300 694 357 and follow the prompts.

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/beating-christmas-stress-and-anxiety

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/christmas-tips-to-reduce-the-stress

https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2017/dec/20/festive-stress-why-the-christmas-season-can-be-anything-but-merry