Coping with stress, anxiety and depression over the Christmas holidays

b2ap3 thumbnail depression 20141127-121604 1If all the television advertisements, festive movies and carols are to believed, Christmas is the by far the happiest time of the year. After all, whats not to love about being surrounded by friends, family, delicious food, gifts aplenty and a tipple or two?Unfortunately, this isnt always the case however and for many people, Christmas is actually filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness and anxiety. If you fall into this category, please dont fear. First of all, you are not alone and secondly, there are many things you can do to help cope with the Christmas blues. 

Have modest expectations

 First of all, dont get hung up on what you think Christmas should be about and dont expect it to pan out like a fairytale. Theres no harm in planning for a special day but if things dont quite go according to plan, brush it off and focus on the things that are going well.

Do something different

 Some people dread Christmas because rather than expecting their day to resemble something out of a Hollywood film, theyre actually bored of the mundane routine that every year brings. If this sounds familiar then plan to do something different - go out to a restaurant for Christmas lunch, go away for a few days or you could even volunteer to do some charity work.

Put together a support network

Whether youre struggling with an addiction, are feeling lonely or just generally tend to feel down around Christmas time, put together a support network consisting of friends, family and others who feel similarly to you. Every time you feel yourself struggling you can drop them an email, give them a call or even meet up for a coffee.

Dont assume the worst

Try to go into the holiday season feeling positive. If youre adamant that youre going to hate it then you probably will. If you take the festivities as they come and go however and limit your expectations, you may find that you begin to enjoy yourself. 

If youre struggling with depression or anxiety, please feel free to visit our Depression and Anxiety Treatment Programmes page for more information. 

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