Although the festive period can be an exciting and joyful time of year, it can also be hectic, anxiety-inducing and lonely for some.
For twelve days during the festive season I’m offering my tips for coping at this time of year, from Lowering expectations to Nourishing your body.
I hope that my tips may bring comfort and reassurance to others. After all, we must take care of our mental health year-round.
Follow the hashtag #12DaysofTakingCare on Twitter for more.
The phrase “This too shall pass” is encouraging for me. When I am in a difficult or stressful situation, it often feels like it will never end no matter what anyone says. It helps me to remember that times do change, just like the seasons. The start of the year is short compared to the whole year we have ahead of us. Identifying people, places and things that intensify my anxiety is a strategy I like to use. It reassures me that these are temporary emotions triggered by external influences, which can change.
I try to be as present as I can, and bring my attention back to my body and my breath. It helps me focus less on my worries. How are you at this very moment? You are okay.
Repeating the Serenity Prayer in stressful situations really soothes me. Non-religious friends and colleagues of mine find its meaning useful too.
Serenity Prayer (excerpt)
– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.