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Managing Festive Stress | Independent Geelong

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Melissa Grant

For many in Geelong, Christmas can be quite stressful at the best of times.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the holiday season can seem quite overwhelming for families.

You may be intimidated by the idea of ​​reuniting with family and friends after spending much of the year in isolation.

You can also rush to find gifts, as the lockdown made it difficult to start Christmas shopping early.

Finances can be tight, while travel difficulties can mean you are estranged from family members.

If you’ve recently lost a loved one, the holiday season can amplify feelings of grief and loneliness.

If there is tension within your family, the prospect of catching up with you for Christmas lunch can make you quite anxious.

So while the holiday season comes with expectations of fun family reunions, the reality can be quite different.

It is important to be aware of the signs of stress. This includes being irritable, short-tempered, having a headache or upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, tension in the jaw or shoulders, lack of concentration, and tiredness or extreme fatigue.

Here are some great tips from Relationships Australia Victoria to help you deal with stress during the holiday season:

Get Organized: Set aside time for exercise, relaxation, cooking and meals, and plan to complete certain tasks on certain days. These routines can be reassuring because they make life more predictable. Also, make time for extra things you need to do, such as shopping and wrapping gifts, and catching up.

Have Reasonable Expectations: Re-evaluate what you can reasonably do before the holidays. This could mean postponing a catch-up, minimizing the amount of cooking you could do, or asking family members for help.

Give yourself positive feedback: Tell yourself that you can get by and that you will do what you need to do to the best of your ability. Avoid negative autosuggestions, including statements such as “I can’t do this” or “I can’t cope with this.” ”

Connect with people you care about – spend time with friends and loved ones who will listen and understand you. Share your thoughts and feelings with people who care about you and may be able to support you. If you are physically far from loved ones, try contacting them by phone or online, or join a social group in your area.

Take time: do something that’s right for you on a regular basis. This may involve taking a short walk, listening to music, having coffee in a cafe or at home, watching TV, reading, taking a nap, talking to a friend, hanging out. pleasure or gardening.

Practice relaxation: try meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or yoga to take your stress away from your stress.

Exercise: Exercise can have a positive effect on your emotional health and well-being. Try to exercise for at least 15 to 30 minutes, three days a week. If you find it difficult, aim for a 10-minute daily walk.

Eat Healthy: It can be tempting to indulge yourself while on vacation. Try to maintain a healthy diet by including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Also, try to minimize foods high in fat and sugar, and avoid relying on cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs to deal with stress.

Rest: Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Rest your eyes as well as your mind, especially when spending time staring at computer screens or smart devices.

If you need help, talk to your GP or seek help from a counselor. You can find an advisor by visiting www.rav.org.au/counselling

For crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14. You can also find mental health support services open during the holiday season by visiting www.rav.org.au/resources/mental-health-services


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