Festive stress getting you down?

It’s looking increasingly like we might be able to enjoy a ‘normal’ Christmas this year, a piece of news which isn’t inspiring joy for all.  There are many members in the community who spend the holidays feeling alone and isolated, and the pandemic gave them a time when they knew that at least everyone else was experiencing a similar situation.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) notes that 1 in 7 people will be struggling with heightened levels of stress and anxiety at any time, and the UK mental health charity Mind reports that it is even more common to struggle during the festive season for a wide range of reasons.

While you might tell yourself that nothing can replace the experience of being a part of a family Christmas, the reality is that you might actually be happier doing something else. Sometimes when we get an idea into our head we are missing out on a specific thing, it can be hard to switch gears and start to think about what we can have which would make us happy.  This is even more common when we are feeling stressed, depressed or anxious.

What can help is challenging ourselves to be more flexible in our thinking. Maybe we could go visit a friend, go away on a short break or befriend a neighbour and invite them around for a meal.

Did you know that volunteering can boost both your mental and physical health? If you’re in a place, physically and mentally, where you’re able to volunteer, you might find that it relieves some of your feelings of loneliness or isolation. Over the last few years the Trussel Trust, Britain’s largest food bank, has released figures showing that demand for their services was increasing every year with the peak of demand in December. Many other community organisations also need more volunteers over the Christmas period as they step up their community services.

Here at the NCH we know that the holiday season can be hard. Some people will benefit from additional support throughout the holiday season to help them manage their anxiety, stress and feelings of isolation.  Talking therapies have been proven to help relieve anxieties, stress and depression and hypnotherapy can provide targeted and compassionate support. The NCH has over 2,000 qualified therapists across the UK who are here to support you.


Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas from Pexels