Unfortunately stress, anxiety, and depression are common during the festive season.
While a study by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for Public Health showed 84% of 2,000 respondents said that spending time with family improved their mental well-being at Christmas, 76% said that family arguments have the worst impact on their mental well-being during the festive season.
The truth is Christmas has been “formally identified” as a source of stress.
In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe decided to study whether or not stress contributes to illness. They surveyed more than 5,000 medical patients and asked them to say whether they had experience any of a series of 43 life events in the previous two years.
Each event, called a Life Change Unit (LCU), had a different “weight” for stress. The more events the patient added up, the higher the score. The higher the score, and the larger the weight of each event, the more likely the patient was to become ill.
The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale became a psychological tool that measures the amount of stress you are under.
And guess what? There are 43 life change units that were ultimately identified and made the list (meaning they had to potential to make us ill) – and Christmas is on the list.
The scale lists life events and assigns a score to each event. Christmas scores 12 points on the scale.
You tally the scores for each event you have experienced in the past 12 months, the higher score the greater the chances you have of becoming ill from the stress you have in your life. You can see or take the test here.
So for some, Christmas represents a very stressful time – there are potentially financial strains with the extras (presents, food, time off work), children home from school, visitors, obligation, lack of sleep, too much food/drink, too little exercise ….. the list goes on.
Just thinking about it can raise the stress hormones, so we can use some tapping to calm your nervous system.
Write down everything you can think of that might make you feel overwhelmed, flustered, stressed etc during the Christmas period:
When you are done, go back and rate them out of 10 for level of intensity (e.g. 10 = the most intensity and 0=very calm).
Now let’s tap:
While tapping the side of the hand point (on either hand), repeat these phrases out loud, (or change the words to fit your exact situation).
“Even though I feel completely overwhelmed at the moment, I accept myself anyway.”
“Even though I feel stressed with the thought of everything I have to do, I accept how I feel.”
“Even though I feel sad, depressed, lonely, overwhelmed, tired, exhausted……., I accept this is how I feel right now.”
Now for the reminder phrases
Eyebrow: “I feel so tired”
Side of Eye: “I’m feeling overwhelmed.”
Under Eye: “I feel angry.”
Nose: “I feel stressed.”
Chin: “This is overwhelming.”
Collarbone: “I am SO exhausted.”
Under Arm: “I feel so much resistance.”
Head: “I don’t know how to change all of this.”
Tap around and see how your body feels after a few rounds. Try and identify areas which might be holding tension, emotions or overwhelm. Keep tapping until you are a 0 or a 1 out of 10 (10 being the most overwhelm, and 0 being complete calm). Jot down your notes to check in later.
Remember to change the words to describe exactly how you feel – it is veru important to be specific.
Remember you can download more ideas to cope with the festive season using tapping right here in this free ebook
Merry Christmas everyone.