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8 ways to manage festive session stress

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The festive season can bring joy and excitement, but it can also be a sad and lonely time for many and can also bring stress due to various commitments and expectations. Here are eight ways to manage stress during the festive season:

  1. Plan and Prioritise: Create a plan or schedule for the festivities. Prioritise essential tasks, events, and gatherings to manage your time effectively. Set realistic expectations and avoid overcommitting yourself.

  2. Set Boundaries: Learn to say "No" when necessary. It's okay to decline invitations or requests that may overwhelm you or stretch you too thin. Setting boundaries helps you maintain balance and reduce stress.

  3. Practice Self-Care: Amid the busyness, prioritise self-care. Get enough sleep, eat well, eat and drink moderately, exercise, and take breaks when needed. Alcohol can increase blood pressure, stroke, and other illnesses, and it can increase anxiety and depression. Engage in relaxing and rejuvenating activities, such as reading, meditating, or taking a leisurely walk. It can be the same as other parts of the year, so remember to look after yourself!

  4. Manage Finances Wisely: The festive season often involves increased spending. Set a budget for gifts, decorations, and celebrations. Consider thoughtful and meaningful gifts rather than focusing solely on expensive ones.

  5. Delegate Tasks: Don't hesitate to ask for help or delegate tasks. Involve family and friends in preparations or share responsibilities to lighten the load. Collaboration can make the festive season more enjoyable and less stressful.

  6. Practice Mindfulness and deep breathing: Stay present and mindful during festivities. Take moments to breathe, be grateful, and appreciate the joyous moments with loved ones. Mindfulness can help you savor the experiences without being overwhelmed. Practice accepting that not everything will be perfect.

  7. Create a ritual and honour your deceased loved one: Light a candle in honour of them, write a letter expressing your feelings, what you have been doing and want them to know, what you loved most about them, and tell them how much you miss them. Play their favourite music, and talk to them about your favourite memories. All these things keep them alive. Remember, the best way to honour them is by living your life to the fullest and sharing these memories with them.

  8. Connect with your social circle: Make time to reach out to a colleague, friend, or family - whoever is essential in your social circle - remember they are most likely feeling the same. Also, remember there are lovely support lines during the Festive sessions, such as Friendline, and if this time feels hard, there is also Lifeline 13, 11, 14, or Beyond Blue. Book a regular session with your Counsellor to get the emotional support you need.

Remember, prioritising your well-being and managing stress allows you to appreciate and cherish this time of year fully.


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