We have designed a checklist for you to reflect on how you're feeling during this joyful (but stressful) time. It asks some questions to get you thinking about what's important for you. Christmas isn't always happy for everyone and we want to support you the best we can. Getting through Christmas stress doesn't have to be about pushing through it. How can you find ways to look after yourself and manage how you're feeling during this season?
School Wrap Up:
- Are my kids ok? Did they have a positive year at school this year? Did their experience this year, have an impact on MY OWN stress levels?
- How can I show my appreciation to a beloved teacher, without rushing around thinking of buying more gifts? Tip: Write a heartfelt card or letter. Go in with a group of parents to buy a gift, rather than an individual gift from your kids. Tell them how much you appreciate them, it can be more meaningful than buying them another gift and saves you time.
- Have we organised some playdates, sleepovers or holiday activities for our kids to give us (the parents) some time-out?
- How can we make the holidays easier on ourselves?
Work Wrap Up:
- Do I feel a sense of completion with the years end? Is there anything left unresolved that may play on my mind during holidays?
- If I'm not getting a holiday break, what other things can I do for myself on weekends to recharge my body and mind?
- How is my sleep? Can I catch up on sleep during the public holidays and holiday season. Tip: Take the luxury of a siesta or nanna nap after lunch, just for 30-60 min.
- Is there anything left unsaid to staff or bosses that will play on my mind over the holidays? Do I need to get something off my chest to a colleague?
- How has my body physically coped with work this year? Do I need to think about changing my work set up? eg. tools used, stand up desk, changing my office chair. Tip: It can be a rainy day job but now is a good time to make changes to set your body up better for next year. Invest in coaching or a Personal Trainer, bodywork sessions or the equipment you need to help you feel happier at work.
- How am I feeling about family gatherings - am I dreading them or looking forward to them? What support do I need to get me through them? Tip: Anxiety and Depression is common at this time of year because it can bring up a lot of emotions and stress. Approach your doctor about it first or speak to our counsellor Ammata Phathanak for additional coping strategies during the Christmas stress season. Don't let things fester and build up. Start supporting yourself now to ease the pressure.
- What is important to me at this time of year? What will fill my cup? Tip: Christmas stress can be swept up in shopping, gifts and spending money. Design your own Christmas, don't feel you must conform to what society's expectations are. If your priorities are family time - arrange a road trip or camping trip. If it's helping others, find a volunteer network such as a local homeless shelter, Oz Harvest or Foodbank that have concentrated efforts around Christmas time. Make Christmas meaningful for you. If you're worrying about what to buy the kids, take a break and think about changing your focus. Your kids need your connection, not your attention.
- How am I connecting with my spouse at Christmas? Christmas stress can be all go, go, go and meeting deadlines. How can you show your appreciation for your significant other? Can you re-establish a spark between yourselves? What makes them feel important to you? If you have no idea, I love the Love Languages ideas about how to reconnect with your partner. Take a look at their quiz here.
Relationship with self:
- What makes me happy?
- What relaxes me?
- Am I looking after my self physically? eg. diet, lifestyle, sleep, hydration.
- Am I following my purpose?
- Do I feel motivated in where I'm heading?
- Do I feel stuck?
- Am I tuning in to my real feelings? Am I ignoring something?
- How can I support myself better?
I can't really give you tips on the last section, as this is such a personal group of questions. But I would highly recommend speaking to any of the following team members for more detailed advice about how to help you: