This year, more than ever, it is important to acknowledge and address these emotions and seek support if needed.
The holiday season, traditionally a time of joy and togetherness, can also bring about a range of stressors that contribute to feelings of anxiety and fear.
From financial strain to social obligations, the demands of the season can take a toll on mental wellbeing. This time of year adds an extra layer of uncertainty and anxiety for many, making it crucial to prioritise mental health during this time.
Sam Barr of Healthy Mind Coaching & Training in Belfast explained: “The festive season brings with it multiple stressors ranging from financial pressures to struggles with family dynamics. All of this tension causes anxiety and fear in the lead up to festivities.
“Unfortunately festive anxieties are common so at this time of the year it is essential to implement strategies to support and nurture your mental health. I hope that people feel ready to reach out and search for the support that they need at this time of year.”
Sam’s company, Healthy Mind Coaching offers a range of CBT and Positive Psychology based services for individuals and staff. The company offers a free 20-minute one-to-one introduction consultation as an opportunity to identify any mental or emotional wellbeing concerns and choose a path that works best for the client to find a resolution.
“Right now it is particularly important for individuals to reach out to mental health & wellbeing professionals to cope with the stressors that the festive season brings,” said Sam.
To help individuals navigate anxiety and fear during Christmas here are Sam’s top tips for the season.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
“It’s essential to recognise that it’s okay to feel anxious or fearful during the holidays. Simply acknowledging your emotions can be the first step towards managing them” said Sam.
2. Set Realistic Expectations
Sam said it’s important that people do not feel pressure to create a picture-perfect Christmas.
“It is okay to scale back on decorations, gifts, or social events if it reduces stress and anxiety” he added.
3. Plan And Budget
For many people the stresses and strains financially can cause havoc during the festive period.
Sam advised: “Create a realistic budget for holiday spending to avoid financial stress. Consider gifts or alternative celebrations that align with your budget.”
Prioritising self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing exercises are an important part of any weekly routine said Sam, he explained: “These can help manage stress and improve overall wellbeing.”
5. Reach Out For Support
“Don’t hesitate to lean on friends, family, or mental wellbeing professionals if you need support. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can be incredibly therapeutic” said Sam
6. Limit Social Media
Sam warned that the curated holiday experiences shared on social media can intensify feelings of inadequacy or fear of missing out.
He said: “Consider taking a break from social media if it negatively affects your mental health.”
7. Maintain Healthy Boundaries
Maintaining healthy boundaries is one of the hardest things for people to do around the Christmas season but something Sam said is vital to emotional and mental wellbeing.
He explained: “It is fine to say no to social events or obligations that feel overwhelming. Prioritise your own mental and emotional wellbeing.”
8. Focus On Gratitude
Sam advised: “Take time to reflect on the positive aspects of the holiday season, such as spending time with loved ones or engaging in meaningful traditions.”
9. Professional Help
“If anxiety or fear becomes overwhelming, seek help from a mental health and wellbeing professional” said Sam, adding: “They can provide guidance, support, and strategies tailored to your specific needs.”
10. Community And Volunteering
Engaging with your local community can be an excellent way of boosting your mental and emotional wellbeing during difficult periods.
Sam said: “Consider giving back to your community through volunteering. Acts of kindness can boost your mood and provide a sense of purpose.
“Remember that you are not alone in experiencing anxiety and fear during the holidays. It is important to prioritise your mental wellbeing and seek help when needed.
“This Christmas season, let us all strive for a more compassionate and understanding approach to ourselves and others.”
Learn more about Healthy Mind Coaching and Training or book your free 20-min consultation by calling Sam today on 07906 869616 or go to healthymindcoaching.co.uk