Anxious About Christmas?
simple tips and healthy hacks to enjoy Christmas when you suffer from anxiety disorder
Please always remember that there is no quick fix for any mental health issue. In order to overcome it, you have to address your problem and ask for help from a mental health professional. There are many mental health institutions where you can find professional support. Suffering in secret is never a good idea. Mental health professionals are out there to help people with any type of mental health issue. Don’t minimize your problems, sometimes everyone needs help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you find it difficult to go to the mental health institution just call a helpline (you can easily find a number online and it’s free!)
Remember you are not alone even if you feel this way. Many people have mental health problems especially in today’s world where it becomes more and more difficult to cope with stress and anxiety.
Christmas Is Coming...
Can you imagine that it’s almost Christmas!? It feels like we were just lamenting the end of the summer holidays and dealing with Autumn depression. And now, most of my friends have already started preparing for the most magical time of the year – Christmas 2019! They are already buying Christmas presents, decorating their homes, making room for a Christmas tree, planning Christmas party or even Christmas dinner menu and I’m trying not to freak out!
But don’t get me wrong. I’ve always loved Christmas season filled with joy, happiness, quality family time, delicious food and food comas, cozy evenings and cold mornings but it doesn’t mean that this Christmas omnipresent vibe does not trigger my anxiety. Because the truth is… it still does a little bit especially when I am in the presence of Christmas-obsessed individuals that you can easily find in the mall soon before the 24th of December.
However, I’m not paralyzed by anxiety and stress anymore as it has happened multiple times during the last past years. What I am experiencing instead is some trepidation mixed with great excitement that gives me a pleasant boost of energy and triggers my happy hormones. In case you wonder how I manage to do it, here are 12 simple BUT powerful ways you can manage Christmas when you suffer from Anxiety Disorder. (and no, avoiding emotional triggers it’s not one of them!)
Ditch Anxiety Before Christmas
1. Plan It Out
Whether you’re preparing for a significant life change or you’re just trying to survive a busy day without causing excessive stress, having a good plan will make everything much easier and less overwhelming. First of all, planning and preparing will make you feel powerful and in control of the whole situation. Secondly, you will overcome your fear of the unknown before it even comes to you. And finally, you will be able to manage your time wisely by eliminating unnecessary decisions and unhealthy habits. So, as you can see taking some time for planning and preparing it’s always a good idea especially if we’re talking about dealing with anxiety at Christmas.
Christmas is considered to be a season of great joy filled with old traditions, beautiful celebrations, and delicious food but in reality, for most people, it is a very stressful time of the year because of expectations of the season they have and pressure to make these couple of days not only cherished but also memorable. But you know what? Christmas can be stress-free, debt-free, memorable, cherished and just peacefully beautiful! And the only thing you have to do to create a stress-free and peaceful Christmas atmosphere is to plan everything out! Plan it out! Control what you can control and accept what you cannot control. Yes, it’s that simple! Focus on your wellbeing and create a positive Christmas experience for yourself and your loved ones!
- Make a powerful to-do list (include healthy eating, working out, quality “me time”, self-care, journaling, powerful Christmas rituals and anything YOU WANT!)
- Set short-term (Christmas) goals
- Set 3 daily Intentions
- Set 3 Daily Priorities
- Schedule Time To Relax
- Schedule time for quality rest!
2. Breath & Journal Like A Boss
Explore the therapeutic power of writing.
Journaling is one of the best strategies to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. Not only because it helps you to understand how exactly do you feel and what is by using happening but also because it’s a great tool for self-reflection and self-awareness.
When you feel like you’re having an anxiety or panic attack start writing. Write down what you’re thinking about, what are the feelings you’re experiencing and what is emotionally triggering you. Then look around you and focus on what is REALLY happening. What are the facts? Can you separate your thoughts and feelings from the facts? What is REALLY happening right now? Ask yourself these questions and try to answer them.
Don’t leave your home or even your bedroom without your journal. (I keep my journal on my cloud storage – it’s password-protected of course).
Journal your way to stress-free Christmas!
Looking for a Bullet Journal?
- Happy Notes Book Notebook Journal for Happiness, Gratitude, Positivity AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Fast 1-Minute Gratitude Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Mindfulness Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- My Thoughts Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Gratitude Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- The Joy of Now Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Five Minute Journal AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
3. Stay Mindful No Matter What
Stay mindful and make space for your spiritual self-care! Create your own sacred place, internal alchemy in order to heal from the negative effects of difficult feelings and emotions. I’m sure that it will come as no surprise to you if I tell you that the best and the healthiest way of practicing spiritual self-care is through mindfulness techniques. Remember that dealing with negative emotions can be hard and requires time and patience. However, healing from their negative effects is crucial to our mental and physical health and definitely worth the effort. Start from breathing techniques to regain your focus and silence a bit of the intrusive thoughts. Accept every emotion that comes to you with kindness and understanding. Don’t rush, take a deep breath and start your spiritual journey. Open the door to the new realm of possibilities. The real adventure begins where “the really-real world” ends…
When you feel that you’re having an anxiety or panic attack just stop right there. Breathe. Look around. Ask yourself,
- What do I see?
- Can I smell anything?
- What is really happening?
- What other people are doing and what am I feeling?
- Is this real or imaginary threat my body perceives?
- What can I do to make me feel a bit better?
Don’t force yourself to answer these questions just observe what is happening, be aware of your surroundings, be mindful. Use your senses to manage your emotional distress.
4. Listen to Calm Sounds
Use your mobile phone as a tool to reduce anxiety and stop a panic attack when you’re having one or when you feel one coming on:
- Find the voice that calms you helps you to enter a flow state of mind every time you feel about to panic.
- When you’re anxious, overwhelmed and stressed out just put some good relaxing music, listen to gentle whispering on Spotify or ASMR podcasts and zoned out.
- Create your Spotify list of relaxing songs that will help you to overcome anxiety
- Try to listen to ASMR whispering – I can assure that it helps!
Best FREE Mental Health Apps:
- Calm Meditation and Sleep Stories (Android; iOS)
- Happify: for Stress & Worry (iOS and Android)
- Headspace (Android; iOS)
- Breathe2Relax (Android; iOS)
- Anxiety Reliever (Android; iOS)
- Self-help for Anxiety Management (iOS)
- Sanvello (Android; iOS)
- Worry Watch (iOS)
- Rain Rain (Android; iOS)
- Panic Relief (Android; iOS)
- SAM App (Android; iOS)
- What’s Up? – A Mental Health App (iOS and Android)
- MoodTools – Depression Aid (iOS and Android)
- MindShift CBT – Anxiety Canada (iOS and Android)
- Self-help for Anxiety Management (iOS and Android)
- Happier (iOS)
- Smiling Mind Meditation for all ages (iOS and Android)
- MY3 Suicide Prevention (iOS and Android)
- PTSD Coach – not only for Veterans (iOS and Android)
- NOCD: Effective care for OCD (iOS)
- RR: Eating Disorder Management (iOS and Android)
- Rise Up + Recover: An Eating Disorder Monitoring and Management Tool for Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating, and EDNOS (iOS and Android)
- CBT Thought Diary
#1 Free Mood & Thought Journal (iOS and Android)
5. Indulge... In A Healthy Way
Christmas is a time of indulgence, guilty pleasure and food comas. We all know it. No one even tries to deny this. Besides, isn’t that why we love this time of the year so much? It’s one of these occasions we can just relax, surrender to the delicious food and spend quality time with our loved ones. Some of us wait a whole year for Christmas to be able to enjoy undisturbed overindulgence, overspending and of course overeating. And that’s OK.
However, if you want to feel good and stay healthy during the Christmas season you should stick to a healthy diet otherwise you will be suffering from multiples food comas that will definitely ruin your mood and Christmas vibe. But hey, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from your favorite Christmas dishes! What I’m trying to say is that you can choose healthier options and STILL indulge in your favorite food while avoiding stomach pain, gastritis, heartburn, bloating and other RATHER uncomfortable digestive issues that can easily ruin every festive season. It’s not fun to feel sick after every single meal. Besides, all these unhealthy foods most people consume daily can (and they usually do) cause anxiety, insomnia or even depression. So stay away from junk, highly processed, GMO and sugary food, for your own good. You can STILL indulge BUT in a healthy way! And this is how you can easily stick to a healthy diet at Christmas.
- Do CLEAN EATING grocery shopping BEFORE Christmas and pay attention to Nutrition Labels on Food BEFORE you buy it (this way you will have NO excuses for not eating healthy)
- Practice MINDFUL EATING here
- Prepare delicious KETOGENIC desserts, your pancreas will be grateful for this (go for low carb and high-fat goodies!)
- Drink cinnamon dark hot CHOCOLATE without marshmallows BUT with delicious healthy heavy cream to warm yourself up in cold Christmas evening (unless you’re spending your Christmas In Australia)
- If you drink ALCOHOL, drink in moderation to avoid a hangover and embarrassment at Christmas party
- Control your SUGAR intake (Switch sugar for raw organic honey and eat it in moderation)
- Avoid EMPTY calories (homemade healthy versions of fast foods taste BETTER!)
- Incorporate SUPERFOODS into your Christmas diet! (did you know that dark chocolate is a superfood?!!!!)
- If you eat out just try to stick to HEALTHY options
- Drink plenty of WATER
My Absolutely Favourite Superfoods You Can Find On Amazon
- Blue Spirulina AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Coconut Oil AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Chia Seeds AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Turmeric Powder AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Cinnamon Powder AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Acai Berry Powder AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Matcha Tea AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Bamboo Chasen Matcha Powder Whisk Tool Japanese Tea Ceremony Accessory AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Peruvian Raw Cacao Powder AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
- Organic Maca Powder AMAZON US / AMAZON UK
6. Move Your Body
Have you ever noticed how good and energetic even a little physical activity makes you feel? It’s because during exercise our body releases endorphins and increases dopamine and serotonin levels. This magic trio made up of your natural happy chemicals is all you need to activate your happiness mode. Furthermore, regular workouts boost your energy levels, reduces stress, increases self-esteem and keep you fit (not to be confused with “being skinny). Need I say more? So instead of looking for an excuse to skip your workout during the Holidays! Just think how great you will feel afterward and hit the gym, go for a walk or do a full-body workout at home. So move your butt and sweat your Christmas anxiety out!
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily (not having a gym membership is not as excuse, you can workout at home!)
- Take long walks (take at least 10 000 steps per day)
- Practice yoga, pilates or do some stretches as a part of your morning routine (simple stretch will improve your posture, keep you grounded, boost your happy hormones and set your mood for the whole day)
- Make it FUN – Choose physical activity that you enjoy doing (it will be harder to make up un excuse
- Make it SIMPLE – Dedicate 20 minutes to plan and schedule your weekly workouts
- Make it PLEASURABLE – You don’t have to do a 60 min cardio or HIIT workout if you don’t feel this, choose the type of workout you love doing, don’t force yourself. Working out shouldn’t be a punishment but part of self-care and everyday routine. So, stay active, do some stretch and or go for a long walk
7. Stay With Your Tribe
Sometimes you meet someone and immediately, they just make you feel good, comfortable and calm. There is something magical about them. There is something in the touch of their hand, in their silent gaze or their genuine smile. Or maybe it’s your subconscious choice to feel calm and relax around them. Whatever it is, you feel it. You feel this deep closeness and spiritual connection. No words are needed when you’re with them. Their presence is all you need to feel carefree. Those people are your tribe. Your emotional and physical state is highly influenced by their presence.
Considering the fact that Christmas is a perfect time to reconnect with people spend this special time with your loved ones, your friends. Spend quality time with those who make you feel good about yourself and stay away from those who bring you down.
“Time is a currency you can only spend once, so be careful how you spend it “. Choose your inner circle wisely. You have the power to do it. Find your tribe, your people with whom you have common interests and values, share your joys and sorrow, celebrate your achievements and grow. Listen to your intuition and invite in your life only those people who give you a feeling of belonging, offer emotional support, bring great joy, encourage you and support your life choices. Dedicate your time especially at Christmas, to those who bring the best in you.
- Make time with LOVED ONES and close friends count – reconnect with them and squeeze from these special moments as much positive energy as you can.
- Spend your free time in a good COMPANY (Spending time in a good company is an incredible opportunity to create memorable experiences, connect with others, boost happy hormones, and just relax.)
8. Stay Away From Negativity
It’s amazing how much negative energy certain people radiate. When you’re near someone like that you just know it… through and through. You can feel their negative energy because it affects you very directly. Suddenly you feel extremely uncomfortable, strangely overwhelmed and just not well when you around a person like that. You may not be able to describe it and call this what it is but you feel it but you know this intuitively and it affects you… That’s why if you consider yourself a positive person and you want to live your best life cleanse your life from negative energy and get rid of toxic people ASAP. Focus on people who add value to your life.
Differentiate between people who inspire you, push you to become a better person, give you hope and empower you to succeed and those individuals who make you feel bad about yourself, discredit your ambitions and drill holes under your boat to get it leaking.
Remember that optimistic and positive people will add value to your life, while negative individuals will steal your happiness and distract you from achieving your goals.
Choose the people you spend your time with mindfully especially at Christmas time! Don’t go home to see family if it damages your mental health! Focus on your mental and physical wellbeing. Trust your gut. And “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”
- Don’t go home to see family if it damages your MENTAL HEALTH.
- Avoid TOXIC PEOPLE especially at Christmas time.
- Protect your personal BOUNDARIES.
- If you have to interact with a negative person use the Gray Rock Method (The Gray Rock Method is essentially about coming across as a boring, uninterested, indifferent and monotonous person. It is intended to make a toxic person lose attraction to you.)
Best Posts About Holistic Wellness:
- 6 Simple Ways To Live A Healthier Lifestyle HERE
- Free Yourself From Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts HERE
- How To Start Eating Mindfully HERE
- Put Yourself In A Positive Headspace HERE
- Effective Self-Help – best resources HERE
- The 20 Most Unexpected Benefits Of Anxiety HERE
- It’s Just A Bad Day Not A Bad Life HERE
- 5 Lessons I’ve Learned Overcoming Depression HERE
- 23 Ways To Support Your Friend Or Relative With Their Mental Health HERE
- 10 Powerful Tips To Survive An Emotional Breakdown – Finding Hope In The Face Of Personal Tragedy HERE
- Christmas On A Budget HERE
- Become A More Mindful Shopper And Save Money! HERE
9. Spend Quality "Me Time"
Have you ever thought how much time and effort you put into creating relationships with others completely forgetting to build a healthy relationship with yourself? That’s insane, right?
Do you want to hear something even crazier?
The only person you spend your whole life with is YOU so it’s time to focus on this relationship. So instead of wasting your “me time” on things that don’t really matter learn to indulge in your solitude. Teach yourself how to spend alone time with a purpose and squeeze as much positive energy as you can from these special moments. The Christmas season is a perfect time to create a deeper connection with yourself. It’s time to create that bond!
- Practice Self-Reflection
- Practice Self-Study
- Practice Positive Self-Talk
- Cultivate Relaxation
- Cultivate 5 Dimensions of Self-Care
- Practice Being Present
- Go on a Solo Date
- Gain Inspiration
- Unleash Your Creativity
- Connect With Nature
10. Create Your Christmas Bucket List
- Prepare your favorite Christmas meals
- Make gingerbread cookies for the holidays
- Indulge in spiced hot chocolate
- DIY Christmas presents for your loved ones and friends
- Create your Christmas Playlist (don’t forget to add “Santa Baby” by Calista Flockhart :))
- DIY Christmas decorations
- Go on a Christmas walk and take lots of photos
- Build a snowman and make a snow angel
- Watch your favorite Christmas movie (Yes, I will be watching “Home Alone” for a 1000000 time and I’m not ashamed of it)
- Wear a Holiday sweater
- Drink eggnog (omg! that is like sooo totally my FAV Christmas drink)
- Send Christmas Cards NOT Christmas emails
- Create Christmas on a Budget here
11. Self-Care Like A Boss
Is there any better way to release stress and calm your anxious mind than by taking a relaxing shower or a warm bath? I highly doubt it. To be honest, just thinking about taking an aromatic bath with essential oils and peaceful music makes me feel relax. It’s probably the less expensive and the most rewarding (at the same time) to calm down and relax. No wait, eating my favorite dessert is probably cheaper but considering that I usually eat my dessert while taking a hot bath is a part of the price.
Anyways, if you look for an inexpensive and quite easy way to relax just turn your bathroom into a soothing sanctuary and dive into a wonderful evening of relaxation and guilt-free indulgence. Use your creative potential and set the scene. Create your private spa and wash your tensions and anxieties in the privacy of your home. Trust me relaxing essential oils, soft and relaxing music, scented soap and fluffy towel can work wonders! A hot bath (or shower) will take all the tension from your life. That’s why you should dedicate some time for self-care during this Christmas!!
12. Get Quality Rest
I’ve never been a fan of napping. I mean, to be completely honest, I’ve never been a fan of sleeping. I used to sacrifice my sleep all the time to squeeze more time into my busy days until my tiredness and exhaustion took full control over my life. Then I finally realize that my family doctor who kept telling for years that I should get some quality rest was right. Well, that wasn’t just an empty talk… Now when I am extremely exhausted and stressed out after a hard day I just go asleep or if I have some work to finish I take a short nap. And I am still amazed how even 20 minutes of nap can boost energy levels, improve productivity and increase motivation. Can you imagine that my whole life, I thought that it was exactly the opposite? People who keep repeating that sleep is the best medicine are right! So if you feel like going to bed early after a long, hard day doesn’t feel bad about that. Getting quality rest has nothing to do with procrastination. But sleep deprivation is definitely counterproductive and UNHEALTHY. So if you’re tired you should go to your sleep cave and get some quality rest even or ESPECIALLY during CHRISTMAS season!
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And Ditch Anxiety Before Christmas!