Anxious About Christmas? You’re Not Alone!
The festive season brings so much joy, but it’s also incredibly triggering for a lot of people.
It can feel like everyone else is having the time of their lives in the run up to Christmas, but if you find the holidays hard, you really aren’t alone. In fact, new research from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) – the UK’s largest professional association of expert counselling professionals – shared some of their research with me that has found that over 9.1 million UK adults are feeling stressed or anxious about Christmas this year.
Their research found that the most common causes of anxiety include: being unable to afford presents (37%); the pressure to make sure everyone enjoys themselves (23%); the risk of getting ill (20%);missing loved ones (15%); being alone, or worrying about feeling lonely (15%), and the expectation to see friends and family members you don’t particularly like (14%).
Interestingly, nearly a fifth (17%) of UK adults actually preferred the restriction-heavy Christmas of last year, where ‘low-key’ was the order of the day – with 14% feeling additional pressure to make this Christmas extra special.
Despite these shared worries, over a third of people (34%) feel it’s taboo to talk about the impact of Christmas on theirmental health. But as we know, nothing ever gets better if you don’t talk about it – and being open about our mental health is one of the most powerful ways we have of eroding that outdated (and unhelpful) sense of stigma.
Parents More Stressed Out than Most
Perhaps unsurprisingly, parents of children under the age of 18 experience the most stress and anxiety pre-Christmas – but they’re also less likely to talk about the impact of the festive season on their mental health, with 46% seeing it as taboo.
Financial worries represent a significant concern for 40% of parents, with an additional 30% of those with young children feeling pressured to make sure their children enjoy the magic of the season.
But parent or not, being stressed out and run down really isn’t good for anyone; which is why BACP’s ‘Seasonal Stress’ campaign is shining a light on the importance of counselling to help manage the anxiety of Christmas.
Why Talking it Out is Good for the Soul
A lot of people attend therapy in the new year to help them process the stresses and strains of December, but speaking to someone on the lead up to Christmas is actually much better for your mental health. It’s important to have someone to talk to, but it’s also crucial to learn coping techniques for the healthy management of stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts and feelings.
As well as helping to remedy existing issues, therapy is extremely powerful when viewed (and used) as a preventative measure. Seeing a counsellor doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem, and it certainly shouldn’t be taboo. Talking to someone is simply a way to ‘workout’ your mind – much like exercise helps us to workout our bodies.
In addition to counselling, there are some really powerfulways that you can help yourself this festive season:
If you’re struggling this Christmas and need to talk, you can get in touch with me at mylittletherapyboxltd.com, or use My Little Therapy Box to help start the conversation with someone at home. Link below-: www.mylittletherapyboxltd.com