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Making the Most of your Christmas Break

Posted by: MPW London - 22 December 2021 - MPW Group - Read time: 5 minutes

The end of the year break is a wonderful time for sharing and caring but it is also a time when everything starts picking up so much it can be overwhelming, it also can be a time when everything comes to a sudden halt which can be stressful for many of us as well.

This week, MPW’s London counselling team gives out their best advice with dealing with anxiety and other feelings during this festive period.

Whether we celebrate Christmas or not, whether we are an elf or a grinch, it is easy to be overwhelmed, stressed and anxious, feel isolated or alone during the Christmas period.

For all these reasons, it is important to take the time to rest, break our habits and reflect on what we are experiencing.

Studies have shown that making the conscious decision to rest will promote learning and improve your health by:

  • Facilitating the memorization of new content and inceasing concentration. Resting will help the brain process the content of learning but it is also proven that it will enable increased focus and drive.
  • Allowing the brain and body to recover after the long stretch of the Autumn term will allow you to feel more grounded and less prone to anxious thoughts.
  • Reducing stress levels. Constant worry and pressure can lead to chronic stress which can lead to anxiety which impacts performance, by learning to rest and divert our attention from study we provide the brain with a much-needed recovery period.
  • Boosting the immune system. Rest and sleep have been shown to have a positive impact on your immune system. It also reduces inflammation and decreases the risk of heart disease.
  • Boosting performance and creativity. Rest improves processing speed; enables to work faster and also more creatively. Often new creative approaches to problems may arise when doing unrelated activities. So, the next time you feel stuck, take a break, rest and do something different.

So now that we know that this is beneficial, make it part of your holiday plans to rest and live differently during the Christmas break (or any break for that matter!)

When Consciously breaking our habits over the Christmas period we could be:

  • Looking after our physical Self: Exercising more, napping, sleeping-in, spending more time outside, eating well.
  • Looking after our emotional Self: alone and together, engage in activities that we don’t have time to prioritize, read, spend time with family, play games, watch movies, have a bath, listen to music, bake and cook, meet up with friends, volunteer, do something for others…. Start a journal and take up a self-care activity (mindfulness, meditation, yoga…).
  • Plan ahead: decide who you want to see and when, if Christmas is difficult for you, write a list of things that will help you cope and stick to the plan.

Plan ahead: decide who you want to see and when, if Christmas is difficult for you, write a list of things that will help you cope and stick to the plan.

  • That Christmas can be an anxious time of the year, be gentle and kind to yourself, it is fine to prioritise what’s best for you, identify what your needs are and reach out to who can support you through Christmas (it can be someone in your family but also a friend).
  • That it is okay to take times for ourselves away from others if this is what we want to do.
  • That it is okay to take times for ourselves away from others if this is what we want to do.

Most importantly, relax during the break, look after yourself and January is around the corner; take good care!

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