‘Tis The Season To Be Fearful

You’ve been off for that week of Christmas, the celebrations are (at least, mostly) over, and you’re beginning to think about returning to work. You feel the anxiety and that pit in your stomach starting to sink in. It’s what you were dreading: The Fear. Luckily there are a few things you can do to make the fear a little less worse, whether it’s recovering from the Christmas party the night before or easing back into work.

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Prepare Early

If you’re someone who waits until the morning of to prepare, try to get things prepared a bit early. This could include batch cooking a few days’ worth of food a day or two before returning to work or setting out what you’ll need for Monday mornings in advance. By preparing everything you might need before rushing out the door the next morning, it clears space to do more enjoyable things on Sunday evening. Also, if you’ve been out celebrating the season the night before, thinking about getting food will be one less thing to worry about the next day.

Make Sure You’re Rested

Nothing fuels the fear quite like sleep deprivation. When you’ve been out drinking the night before, you tend to experience lower levels of REM sleep, making your overall sleep less restful. This can make it difficult to concentrate, increase feelings of tiredness and increase low mood and anxiety. So, whether it’s taking a nap the day after drinking, or really making sure you get a quality 8 hours of sleep before work on Monday, try to allow yourself time to rest.

Schedule Something Fun

Be sure to schedule some (alcohol free) fun for yourself. What you consider “fun” might include going to do something with friends, like grabbing dinner or catching the latest film in the cinema. Or, maybe it’s planning a relaxing evening at home with a nice meal or going to the zoo and spending some time outside. Whatever you enjoy, try to plan something positive for the day after drinking or the Sunday evening before returning to work. 

Relax Before Bed

Although it’s tempting, try to avoid just sitting in and watching Netflix until you finally feel tired at 1am. If you don’t have one already, develop a relaxing bed time routine for yourself. By avoiding electronics and following a relaxing routine, it allows your body to release the chemicals that make you sleepy before bed. Also, if your bed routine includes packing your bag for the next day or setting out your clothes, it’ll make the following morning a lot less stressful.

Find The Source Of Fear

If you find that, despite trying all of these things, you’re still experiencing the fear, see if you can find the source. Take some time to write down the thoughts and worries going through your head. Whatever they are, try asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is there any evidence to support my worry?

  2. Is there any evidence against my worry?

  3. What’s the most likely thing that will happen?

This will help you to gain a bit of perspective, and remind yourself that maybe things aren’t as bad as you’re worrying they’ll be.

Remember, this time of year doesn’t have to be full of the fear. With a bit of preparation and planning, you can still engage in the festivities with everyone without as many of the dreaded side effects.

Julie Farrar