Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...Stress

Imagine you're in a snowglobe.

You're the little figurine inside, carrying wrapped up gifts taller than you, you're holding the hand of a little one beside you.

There are trees, and maybe a shopping centre behind you.  

And then there's the snowglobe snow, flying & billowing all around you, in the small dome that surrounds you, coming at you from all directions.

And then it settles on the bottom of the globe, until someone or something shakes it up again.



Starting to sound like your life right now?

You're not alone.

As the holiday season is now upon us, the hustle & bustle of everything is coming to light.

The food.  The shopping.  The wrapping.  The visitors.  The travelling.  The weather.  The parties. 

Pressure.

Stress.

Anxiety. 

Maybe this is your first holiday season after suffering a tragedy or a loss.

Grief.

Sadness.

Depression.

Maybe you have people in your life that you'll be seeing, and you don't want to.

Loss of sleep.

Panic.

Darkness.

Maybe you just are feeling like this is it for you.

Isolation.

Loneliness.

Suicidal thoughts.


You don't need to feel ashamed if you're experiencing any of these thoughts.

The holidays are meant to be bright & merry, to have you happy & healthy, and to end the year with joy in your heart.

Here are some helpful tips that may make sense for you to try out!

TO-DO Lists

I am a huge to-do list person.  I find that if I write out literally everything I have to do, from grocery shopping to packing our overnight bags, that I know as soon as I cross that one item off my list, it's done.  Start with the tasks that you know will take up the most time and get those done first, that way as you get through your list, the easier tasks are on the bottom, and you'll zip right through them.




DELEGATE!

We as humans, want perfection at the holidays, just as we see in the movies, with the big tree decorated, a gorgeous turkey on the table, everyone dressed up and on their best behavior, and that you did it all by yourself.  In reality, we're more like the movie Four Christmases - baby is spitting up, kids are fighting, everyone's tired, the dog is in the garbage & the smoke alarm keeps going off for no reason.  Then someone asks you what they can do to help. Take the opportunity to delegate a task or two this holiday season, and you'll feel so much better, knowing that one thing is off your plate, so to speak.


Cranberry Sauce, a la Bart - kids can help too!  :)  (anyone remember this episode?  It aired 25 years ago this year!)

LESS IS MORE

The age old saying of "Less is more" still rings true today.  Have a budget set out for gift giving?  Stick to it!  What will going over your budget bring you?  Sure more presents under the tree, your kids receiving more...and a hefty credit card bill in January that will cause stress & anxiety.  Why not make some gifts this year? (Search handmade gifts on Pinterest, the possibilities are endless!) Or plan an outing with your family to a local amusement establishment?  (If you're in Ottawa, there's Skyzone, Laser Quest, Top Kart etc!)  Or ask them to fill out the following list:



TALK TO SOMEONE

If you're experiencing feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, depression, or thoughts of suicide, please know that our phone lines do not close over the holidays.  We have some pretty incredible people on our phones from Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, New Year's Eve & every day in between, to make sure that you have someone to talk to this holiday season.  Every call is completely free & confidential, and we are not here to judge you.  If you need a break between the presents and the turkey, take a few minutes to call us, and we'll be here to listen and support you.  613-238-3311.



From all of us at the Distress Centre of Ottawa & Region, we'd like to wish you a very happy holiday season, filled with joy & love.  Be well!


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