I responded to Carrie’s offer of a free consultation via Nextdoor.com and I can honestly say it’s one of the best things I have ever done.
I have adult autism in my everyday family life which is often very difficult to navigate. As a result I was in a very low place when I responded to Carrie’s offer and, having tried anti-depressants before, didn’t want to go there again.
I believe that therapy success largely requires an open mind and the right therapist. Carrie’s ability to explain processes and reasoning, making everything crystal clear and providing the absolute faith that she would be able to find the right path was just the beginning.
Carrie is one of the most empathetic, patient and kind people I have ever met. She brought me back from being a total wreck to the most positive place I have been in for many years…and it took such a short period of time to achieve. It’s been an honour to get to know her and I can’t thank her enough.
Even if you only have the tiniest idea that Carrie could possibly help you, do get in touch, you wont regret it.
Christmas should be a time of togetherness. fun and joy with family and friends. But all too often Christmas can seem just like another life stress. But Why?
So what makes Christmas so stressful?
Pressure can come from all angles – finding enough money for presents, cooking a large festive feast, socialising with family, everywhere seems so much busier – the list is endless!
But by far the biggest stress at Christmas comes from the very essence of what Christmas is supposed to be all about. We are bombarded in the media with images and ideas about the “perfect Christmas”, yet such a thing doesn’t really exist. This pressure can build unrealistic expectations that can lead to stress and disappointment.
How does this stress build up?
We can subconsciously allow stress to weigh us down and create stress. When we suffer with stress our body produces the stress hormone Cortisol (which triggers our fight/flight reaction). High levels can inhibit our brain function, slow our metabolism, breakdown muscle and increase our blood pressure. It can also affect our immune system leading us to be less resilient and able to cope with the demands of the festive season.
For some, stress at Christmas can cause depression and anxiety. For others, the will “self-soothe” with unhealthy coping strategies such as too much food, too much alcohol, or even other substances.
However, just like any potentially stress inducing event, it is possible to employ simple strategies to reduce the likelihood or impact of Christmas stress.
For a good end to the festive season, plan for a good start and a helpful route through the festivities
Here are some useful tips:
Plan Ahead – make a thorough list of everything you need to do, things you need to buy and key timelines and events.
Shop Smart – If you hate the hustle and bustle of shops then why not order online?
Pace Yourself – Take time out each day to be calm. Listen to relaxing music, practise self-hypnosis or meditation. On busy days, eat little and often to avoid peaks and troughs. Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Avoid Overstimulation – “It’s not that load that breaks you down, but the way we carry it”. Acknowledge your feelings. If you are feeling over pressured, then address it as soon as possible rather than letting the feeling build to an explosive point. Notice when you are using coping strategies that ultimately may make things worse like drinking a lot of coffee to keep you going when you are feeling tired. We know that caffeine stimulates cortisol even if you are in a resting state.
Balance Demands – “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”
Keep Control – “Stress isn’t about what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens to us. A response is something we can choose.“
Use your support Systems – We can boost our immune system and resilience by strengthening our social networks. So build and maintain strong relationships with family and friends. And don’t just turn to them when we need support, but provide them with support too.
Hypnotherapy can help
Hypnotherapy can help to relax you deeply and prepare your mind to feel calm about Christmas and ultimately able to enjoy the festive season.
Depression is a mood disorder which causes persisting feelings of apathy and sadness. It is somewhat a complex condition, with several contributing factors. That said changes to your brain biochemistry is likely play a part.