Reflections on reducing stress at the festive time & planning for the New Year
Winter can be great fun, preparing for the holidays, maybe seeing family not seen for a while, enjoying shopping for gifts, bracing walks on crisp winter days, making your decorations, being kind to the planet.
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It can also be a time of stress, worrying about how you will afford Christmas.
Who will you spend it with, if anyone?
What impact is the cold weather on health as you worry about heating bills?
Maybe even finding your mood has dipped as you experience what is known as a seasonal affective disorder, a form of winter depression.
With the pandemic of COVID-19 still with us, including new variants, the impact this can have on all our plans, which we may find we need to change and change often, can all become a bit overwhelming, to say the least!
Sometimes there aren't easy answers, but maybe wee changes can make a difference. In addition to the winter wellness booklet we put together, we thought this wee slide show might also be of interest.
It matters that we recognise we all experience stress at some time, and since we first went into lockdown, we have had a lot to put up with to keep this virus under control and keep each other and ourselves safe.
We knew the pandemic was a marathon and not a sprint. It's just a marathon we have been running a long time, but looking out for each other, practising self-care, finding things to appreciate, no matter how small, can help us in the now as we wait for calmer days.
Some things are beyond our control, some things. However, we do have choices over. Finding ways to minimise the stress we can all experience in different degrees matters for our wellbeing and our hope in the future.
These tips don't replace professional advice. We have included in the slides contact numbers and remember the Samaritans are there 24/7 365 Tel 116 123
Ditch the myth of the perfect Christmas, and the stress of trying to achieve this may melt away! Enjoy each other's company, and it could be beans on toast to eat and a board game, or a film you have been looking forward to……. maybe with a bowl of popcorn! Sometimes the most precious gifts are the simplest to achieve.
Be kind to yourself and use a kinder inner voice.
You are an amazing person.
Your most precious gift is your ability to be kind and considerate to others.
It is the holiday season so use it to relax, unwind and make time for what and who is important to you.
None of us alone have all the answers, and sometimes some of the questions and situations don't have any easy answers, but if we work together and care about each other, then perhaps we can find a way where each of us suffers less.
From the beginning till the end of time, your life matters. There will only ever be one you; please be kind and look after yourself.
Wellbeing wishes to all now and for 2022.
From everyone at COPEScotland.