So how’s your first month going? I know it’s only 3 days in and you are still getting used to being in January, whilst getting over the December feeling. You are probably still writing 2017.
The trouble is after all the hype of Christmas and New Year, the fireworks and the seasons greetings, January can be a bit of a dull month for some, it can be a struggle after the excitement, an anti-climax. Then there’s the thought of going back to school and work, some of you may be back already, whilst others are not. For some it can be a hard month financially too, especially if you are waiting until the end of the month for your pay packet knowing that it has already been spent on gifts and going out. Working out a budget and spending wisely in January and February may help reduce those feelings of stress. Why not invite friends round to your house for a meal instead of the expensive nights out over the next two months? You will be surprised how many other friends are feeling the pinch of January.
Is anyone struggling with seasonal cabin fever, that strange feelings and emotions which arise from lacking in your regular routine, days off and not knowing which day it is?
How many of you have spent the festive time either with family you really don’t get along with, counting the hours until the house is silent again. Whilst for others they have no choice but to spend their time wishing to see more people but only face it alone.
Any and all of the above can cause stress, arguments and anxiety, which can also heighten a person’s symptoms or bring on new.
So how can you help yourself and others around you?
If you think about individual’s who work in a structured environment ie children who are at school with a timetable, they seem to cope ok at school, they don’t seem to get anxious with a set routine in place. Or a man working in an office with a set amount of hours, he has a lunch and break time, he knows exactly what is expected of him, so he functions OK. So why does this all go wrong? Could it be the unpredictability of home and social life? In school and work we are in a controlled environment whereas when we leave we are not. There is no routine, no control, this life is all crazy which triggers anxiety. It all seems to hit the fan and then the parents for instance are left wondering why their child can cope at school but not at home.
Something so small can trigger a past anxious issue which has been kept on lock down. You dont always know what the initial issue was, it could have been the way the turkey was cooked but because you haven’t dealt with it, layers of stress and anxiety have built up which makes the outer layer weaker. It becomes hard to focus, tempers begin to get shorter, the room feels as though it is closing in, others around you can irritate you easily, then the fight or flight kicks in.
It’s not about blaming or making excuses, its about learning. Parents you can put helpful routines in place to lessen anxiety at home. Talk to the childs school to see if there is any support and ask them how they reduce anxiety. Talk to their GP or the school nurse and discuss how you can help your child.
Adults you need to look at the triggers of your anxiety and what changes happen in you, become self aware. Start to notice what is going on around you and work on making positive changes. Whether this is a short or long term issue, it is ok to seek help. Talk to your GP who may be able to put support in place, alternatively your workplace may have a scheme for counselling and support.
You don’t have to go through this alone. Counselling can help you with anxiety and stress.