We all know Christmas is just as stressful as it is joyful. Trying to get the perfect presents for everyone, battling crowds and bad weather, and finishing up last minute projects at work – December isn't exactly a relaxed month.
But if you're finding you're feeling unusually anxious and overwhelmed, it could be a sign that the holiday season is taking more of a toll on you than is healthy.
Here are six key signs to look out for… and some tips for dealing with them!
1. You can't stand the thought of another party
What's up: Usually you're the first one to put your hand up for a night out, but this year you just want to curl up at home and relax.
How to cope: Whether it's exhaustion, burn-out or just overstimulation, listen to your mind and body and allow yourself the time you need to get back on track. Don't be afraid to say no to a festive event – nobody will hold a grudge about it. Try to prioritise things you must attend over things that aren't essentials.
2. Your to-do (and to-buy) lists are never-ending
What's up: At Christmas time we're suddenly lumped with responsibilities and duties we don't have at other times of the year. It's easy to get swamped.
How to cope: When it comes to large groups of friends or relatives, why not suggest a Secret Santa? That way you can focus time and energy on one thoughtful gift rather than trying to buy 10 different ones. The same goes for siblings, if the rest of your family is game for the idea. Delegate responsibilities where possible – if you're always in charge of organising Christmas events at work or with friends, ask someone else to share or take over this year.
3. You feel like you'll never get into the Christmas sprit
What's up: Everyone else is posting Instagram shots of mulled wine and fairy lights, but you just couldn't be bothered this year.
How to cope: While Christmas is a time of fun and happiness, for some of us it's not always so lovely. Whether it's family stress or work issues getting you down, don't feel bad if you're not singing along to Wham! with everyone else. If you're feeling overwhelmed or struggling to deal with things, don't be afraid to talk to someone.
4. You can't wait for January to arrive
What's up: Overindulging and not getting enough rest at this time of year can leave us feeling tired and sluggish. It's only natural we'd look forward to a clean and hassle-free January
How to cope: You don't have to go off the rails at Christmas when it comes to diet and partying. Sure, it's a time of fun and frolics, but know when to reign things in too. Make sure you're getting enough fresh air, even some moderate exercise, and a solid amount of sleep each night. Don't wear yourself our before Christmas has even arrived!