We’ve already reached day four in my Twelve Days of Christmas series! This time around, I’m talking about the pressure to have a perfect Christmas – and sharing some anxiety-busting ideas.
Avalanche Community call: Friends, what has worked for you? What are your highlights, lowlights and must-avoid pitfalls? Please share your own tips and experiences, and hopefully together we can help others to enjoy a safe and merry Christmas!
DAY FOUR if you are living with your abuser
Your abuser is probably more difficult than ever at this time of year. As financial pressures and social demands go through the roof this season, you are already bearing the brunt of more frequent and/or extreme meltdowns and chart-topping rages.
Just about everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And, it’ll be your fault – of course! Isn’t it always? Your anxiety levels are through the roof. You are wondering how much longer you can keep it together. You are quietly going through the festive motions, waiting for the next crisis.
WHY NOT do this today?
Take a deep breath. Today, we’re going to reach out with a ten-minute phonecall to a family member, or an invite to a trusted friend to meet for coffee. Yes, I know your abuser doesn’t like you to talk to these people – but he doesn’t have to know.
There’s truth in the adage that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, but even if you can’t talk about the real cause of your anxiety – even a brief chat about the normal, everyday, and mundane can bring some relief.
Remember, the most powerful way to relieve your anxiety is to remove the source of stress. Even if you’re not ready to leave your abusive energy-vampire, bear in mind that you do have the power to improve your situation enormously. Despite what he says and what you may think. In Day Five of the Twelve Days of Christmas, we’ll be looking at making a safe exit plan.
DAY FOUR if you have escaped your abuser
So, Christmas is just days away, and the pressure to have a ‘perfect day’ is ramping up. You are probably trying to stage the big event single-handedly, as well as work on your recovery process and sort out all of the practical things needed to rebuild your life. There’s so much to do! It can feel a bit too much, sometimes.
WHY NOT do this today?
Take some time in your packed schedule to try some quick anxiety-easing exercises. You only need five minutes for these:
- Do just one thing, and focus fully on it. If you’re having a speedy shower, concentrate on the way the water hits your body, the warmth spreading across your neck and shoulders, the smell of the shampoo… Focussing on your senses will give you the mental space you need to relax and regroup.
- Close your eyes and breathe! Sitting comfortably, inhale through your nose, feel the oxygen gather in your body and the way your body draws upwards with the breath. Exhale. This exercise slows your racing heart rate.
If you have a little longer, why not hit the gym or take a brisk walk? Not only does physical activity blow away the cobwebs and help clear your mind, getting the endorphins pumping will trigger all sorts of natural feel-goods – just what you need when you need to keep that Christmasey smile firmly in place!
Check out my post, An Abuse Survivor’s Guide to Christmas, for more tips on keeping safe and happy this festive season.
© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14