Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and EMDR 
Leeds, Wetherby & Online 
This time of the year can be so difficult. But what is it that makes Christmas time so stressful? 
Pressure. The pressure we put on ourselves to buy the best and right presents; to cook and provide the best food; to eat it all and not put on weight; to see lots of people (some of whom we like more than others!) and to be like the happy smiling families seen on adverts that are selling us that perfect Christmas. 
The trouble is adverts sell us a fantasy version of life and that can lead us to feeling stressed. 
We often feel stressed when we find ourselves in situations where we might feel out of control and unsure - when we are under pressure. 
Sometimes small amounts of stress can be helpful. It helps us complete tasks and get things done. Large amounts of stress over a long period of time, however, can cause us difficulties. 
Stress affects our bodies, our emotions and how we behave. It is not uncommon to experience: 
• Tiredness and fatigue 
• Difficulty with concentration 
• Worry and tension 
• Anxiety 
• Anger and irritability 
• Heart palpitations and shortness of breath 
• Low mood 
• Lack of motivation 
• Lack of enjoyment 
• Poor sleep 
• Avoidance and unable to enjoy yourself 
If this sounds all too familiar, then it is time to consider what might help. 
• Connect to family and friends and talk about how you are feeling. 
• Ask for help when you need it. We are all human and need help from others. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inadequacy. 
• Lower your expectations. How about trying to have a good Christmas rather than a perfect one? 
• Plan some time out for yourself – even just a few minutes of down time can make a big difference 
• Look after your physical and mental health by avoiding excess alcohol 
• If you take regular medication, make sure you have sufficient to get through this peak holiday time when it might be difficult to get hold of prescriptions 
• Make sure you get enough sleep. 
• Try and get some exercise outside and spend some time in nature 
What ever you do this Christmas treat yourself like you would a good friend, that way we can offer support and help to ourselves so that we can be more resilient at this busy time of year. 
Warm wishes and be gentle with yourself, 
Tracey and Clare 
Tagged as: Christmas, Stress
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