Do we experience Christmas stress?
According to YouGov:
- over two in five people in the UK have felt stressed during the festive season, while about one in four has struggled with anxiety or depression.
- Feeling stressed in December is common, with more than two in five saying people saying they’ve experienced it.
- Anxiety has affected three in ten, while a quarter have felt depressed. And just under a quarter say they have been lonely.
- Anxiety and loneliness are most prevalent among people who are aged between 25 to 34, at between 31% and 40%.
- People who are out of work also struggle more than other groups: 47% say they’ve felt stressed, 42% depressed and 39% anxious.
- Christmas is especially tough on women’s mental health. While women are only four per cent more likely to say Christmas affects them negatively, the difference is more glaring regarding stress and anxiety.
- While only 35% of men have felt stressed around Christmas, for women, the figure is 51%. Over a third of women also say they’ve felt anxious, whereas less than a quarter of men say the same.
Why do we experience Christmas stress?
Christmas is the time of year when people are expected to be happy and jolly. But, surprisingly, the data shows that it is also the time when many people experience Christmas stress. There are a few reasons why:
- We want to make our loved ones happy, and sometimes we can’t afford to buy them everything they want.
- Financial troubles and the pressure to provide a memorable and meaningful Christmas for your children comes at a time when you may be struggling financially or relationally.
- We have too much on our plate in general. Too many commitments, overworked, and insufficient sleep – so it’s hard to find time for everything and still take care of ourselves. If you are running around all day in preparation for the Christmas holiday, it can be tough to find time for everything. This often leads to feeling overwhelmed and frazzled.
- It is hard to keep up with all the expectations that society has for us during this time of year: We are supposed to be nice all the time, spend a lot of money on gifts, and have an endless supply of Christmas cheer.
- Lack of family bonding time: If one or more family members are not able to come home for Christmas because they’re too busy with their own lives, it can feel like something is missing from the celebration (even if those people have their own traditions that they partake in).
Tips for managing Christmas Stress
We all know that we should get things done early, but it can be hard to get yourself to do it. The Christmas holidays are a time for family and friends, so it’s natural to want to spend time with them instead of working on your Christmas list. But if you’re not careful, you might end up feeling more stressed than ever before when you realise that there’s no way you’ll finish everything on your list in time.
The Christmas holidays are often associated with family gatherings, shopping and decorations. This can lead to stress for many people. It is important to take care of your mental health during this time of year by:
- Taking care of yourself physically by eating right and getting enough sleep.
- Avoid over-committing by setting boundaries with others around what you can and can’t do.
- Spend time with family and friends while still taking care of yourself.
- Be honest with yourself and others. It is ok to say “no”
Tips for dealing with the holiday shopping
To make the holiday season a little less stressful, we have compiled seven ways to deal with Christmas shopping:
- Make a list and stick to it
- Check your budget in advance.
- Avoid marketing distractions.
- Shop online and avoid crowds.
- Give yourself time to return gifts and exchange purchases.
- Keep your receipts handy in case you need to return anything.
- Be realistic about what you want and what you can give.
Finally for now
Christmas is a time when people have a lot of stress and anxiety. Hopefully, you were able to find some useful tips that will help you get through the season without feeling so pressured and look after yourself and others in the process.
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