If ever there was a polarising time of year, it’s now. The festive season can be lovely, exciting, heartwarming, and fun. It can also be incredibly stressful, lonely, claustrophobic, and difficult to cope with. This year, emotions might be running higher (or lower) than previous years and the pressure to plaster a smile on our faces is one that weighs heavy; we don’t want to ruin the fun for anyone, but we’re not always feeling the in festive spirit either. Depression is a complex illness and when we add the pressure and the expectations we feel to that, it can feel intolerable.
Many of us can relate to the ‘pendulum of self-care’.
We’re feeling great, firing on all cylinders and self-care doesn’t feel half as important. And then it swings right back to the opposite end of the scale and it becomes everything. It becomes the tool that helps us to hang on by our fingertips, the mode by which we gently ease our way back to health. It becomes a vital, life-saving act of self-kindness.
As the festive frazzle kicks in, most of us are used to battling crowds, and weaving in and out of sweaty shops, on the hunt for the ideal gift. When shopping online, we swap hunting for an elusive car-parking space, for scrolling around website after website, trying to tick off our gift list.
It’s time to stop scrolling; we’ve got you covered.
Our anxiety levels will come and go in waves (whether we’re diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or not). At times when our anxiety levels are high, grounding and breathing techniques can help to bring them back down to a manageable level. This can be particularly useful if we start to feel panicked, detached, or breathless. These techniques are also helpful for those of us who experience flashbacks, shutdowns, and/or dissociation.
Alcohol is quite an embedded part of our culture, here in the UK. For some of us, it can be a social thing to do; we might meet up with friends in bars or pubs, go on nights out and party until dawn, or have frequent dinner parties with no shortage of wine. Others might have a glass of wine with their tea each night, a can or two whilst watching the football, or a nice cool beverage whenever the sun shows itself.
Whether alcohol is something we’ve grown up with, something we’ve discovered later on in life, something we have every day, something we only touch occasionally, or something we watch others drink but don’t have personally, it’s worth knowing how it can affect our mood.
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