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Christmas Creeps

The Christmas period in general is a stressor for many people, it can cause feelings of anxiety, low mood or depression and feelings of loneliness, especially for those separated from their families. A 2019 survey found that two in five people felt stressed during the Christmas season, while one in four has struggled with anxiety or depression.

Christmas is always expensive, but there is even more financial pressure with the rising cost-of-living. Many families have less to spend, so going to the shops and seeing Christmas lights out on display can trigger stress and guilt. The phrase 'Christmas Creep' has been attributed to merchants and retailers who present and advertise their Christmas-themed goods before the usual holiday season begins, and every year it seems to get earlier. In an effort to motivate us to spend sooner, the phenomenon forces us to consider that Christmas is 'just around the corner' when in reality it is nowhere near. This can make many of us begin to feel the pressure of spending and, instead, hold back in an attempt to delay our festive shopping.

Particularly with current inflation rates, people may not have the same budgets for gift-buying and décor as they did previous years, as that money is going towards groceries, fuel, and other necessities. A small 2021 survey of 500 adults by Sesame, a healthcare provider, indicated that gift shopping was the season's biggest stress trigger.

Wellity have put together some tips to help you avoid stress and anxiety over Christmas:

Limit your Christmas shopping time

If Christmas is overwhelming you, then limit the time you spend doing it. Set yourself boundaries of both time and money, this can help you manage stress by still allowing yourself time to shop and recover.

Set a Budget

Anxiety is often linked to feeling out of control but creating a budget can help you feel more in control and less stressed. Write down a list of things you need to buy and how much you want to spend on each item.

Make time for yourself

It’s easy to get wrapped up in trying to please everyone at Christmas, don’t forget to take some time for yourself like going for winter walks, spending time with friends and family, or even just taking the time to relax!

Limit Social Media

Social media encourages us to compare our lives to other people’s. people don’t tend to post the negative parts of their life online, so we rarely get a realistic snapshot of their lives – yet it can still have a negative impact on our mental health. If you are stressed that you don’t have the same budget as last year, it can help to reduce the time you spend on social media toa void you feeling FOMO.

Make Comparisons

If money is tight this year, speak to friends and family about ways to cut back. If you are hosting a Christmas party or dinner, you could ask people to each bring their own dish or drink, so the cost can be spread out.

Here at Wellity we have expanded our financial training series to provide tangible and specific guidance on the key issues your employees are facing in today's climate. The 10 training titles are:

- Mastering Your Money in a Changing World

- Money on My Mind: Dealing with Anxiety

- Eat Well, Spend Less

- Financial Insomnia and Investing in sleep

- Raising Children in a Recession

- Festive Times and Finances

- The Money Smart Home Worker

- Financial Detoxing and Debt

-Climbing The Ladder in a Crisis

- Future Proofing in a Financial Crisis

For more information on other training sessions we offer, contact our Wellity team at 💙

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