Many people may feel a sense of dread when the festive season approaches. What's often meant to be a time of connection and joy can often leave people feeling the complete opposite.

Loneliness and anxiety can commonly be felt over the holiday period as more emphasis is put on family connection and friendship. If you find yourself spending this time alone or you’re anxious about the occasion, there are ways to help you feel more comfortable.

Volunteer

Giving back to others is a great way to spend your time over Christmas, whether that's volunteering at a local shelter or visiting others, such as the elderly who may have to spend their Christmas apart from loved ones. Not only will you be providing a positive contribution, but you’ll also be connecting with others who may be in a similar situation.

Plan your Christmas Day

Instead of spending the entire day in bed or watching TV, try and set up a plan for the day, whether that’s cooking yourself a delicious lunch, going for a long walk or spending time working on that hobby you’ve been meaning to dedicate more time to. By getting up and doing something productive, your mind can concentrate on something other than how you’re feeling.

Gratitude

While it can be difficult to think of things to be grateful for, especially if you’ve suffered loss or are separated by long distance from your family and friends. It can still be helpful to think of ways in which you are grateful, even for the smallest of things, such as having the opportunity to buy delicious food or being able to video call a friend.

Setting Boundaries

If you are able to visit family, but are feeling especially anxious due to family tension or high expectations, it may be wise to set a few boundaries for yourself to allow for as much of a stress free day as possible. This could include, avoiding or not reacting to certain topics that may be brought up, setting a certain time when you can leave and keeping your expectations realistic in how the day will turn out.

Budgeting

If you’re feeling anxious around the financial stress that the holiday season can bring, it’s a good time to reassess your budget. Find out where you need to be more cautious with your spending and try to set a particular limit for presents or social outings, and make sure you try and stick to it. If your financial worries extend beyond the Christmas period, then set your goals for the following year to ensure you’re starting the new year on the right track.

You might like to read: How to create a budget


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Information sourced from: Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria

Image credit: Chad Madden on Unsplash

All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

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