Calm Christmas: 5 ways to overcome festive stress
It's meant to be the most wonderful time of the year, but as many as 1 in 4 of us say that we actually find Christmas the most challenging period.
Professedly a chance to recharge our batteries, the pressures of the festive season can instead often feel like an endurance test. Whether it’s the present buying, the cooking, the commitment to spend time with friends and family, or the office party, Christmas time can be physically and mentally exhausting and, in some cases, can even lead to burnout.
So here's 5 tips for avoiding burnout and stress over the festive season:
- Be money smart: With each household spending on average £740 more in December than any other month, Christmas is the most expensive time of year for a lot of people. But creating a budget to work out how much you can realistically spend is one of the most effective ways of keeping your finances on track. Have a go at making your own with our Budget Planner.
- Don't overindulge: During the festive season, ‘everything in moderation’ tends to go out the window. But overindulging can bring about a series of sugar highs and crashes which can cause your mood to fluctuate with it. If you begin to feel in low spirits, it might be time to give your body a break from the indulgence. Instead take time to rehydrate, eat some healthier foods, and engage in some gentle exercise.
- Take a social media break: Beware of other people’s Christmas on social media and remember that not everything is as perfect as it might seem. If you are one who struggles with low self-esteem or comparison culture, taking a digital break might help in this respect. Going offline can not only be beneficial for your mental wellbeing, but it also allows you to reconnect with the things that matter to you most.
- Schedule some 'me' time: It can be all too easy to forget to set aside some time for yourself - but the importance of doing so is not to be underestimated. Self-care doesn’t have to be a pricey trip to a spa, but can be as simple as watching your favourite film, going for a walk or reading a book. Showing yourself small acts of kindness can have a real, positive impact on your mood.
- Let others know if you're struggling: If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, don’t suffer alone. The expectation that everyone should be jovial and festive at this time of year can itself induce low mood and anxiety when it’s not realised. Talk to family, friends or The Samaritans (by calling 116 123), about what you’re going through as they may be able to help.
Discover wellbeing support
The BWC have partnered with PAM Wellbeing to provide you with wellbeing support and access to trained counsellors if you need someone to talk to.
Read this article
Christmas coping tips
This guide from Mind explains how the Christmas period can affect mental health and offers tips on how to cope at this time of year.
Read this article
Keeping well this Christmas
The Bank Workers Charity (BWC) 'Countdown to Christmas' calendar is packed with daily actions to help us prioritise our wellbeing by staying connected with loved ones, taking the time out to relax and practice self-care, manage feelings of stress and anxiety, and much more.
Use the BWC calendar in the run up to Christmas, and put self-care at the top of your to-do list.
December opening hours
BWC will be open as usual over the festive period. If you’d like to speak with an adviser, you can call their free and confidential Helpline on 0800 0234 834 or head over to the website to use Live Chat. They’re available Monday to Friday between 9am-5pm (except bank holidays).
If you need to talk to someone during the times BWC are closed, you can call the Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123.