4 Tips – If You’re Feeling A Little Overwhelmed At This Time of Year

For many, this time of year can bring sadness, guilt, fear, worry or some kind of ‘overwhelm’ to the surface.


If you’re feeling this way, please remember that you’re not alone. There are many other people who feel similarly, too.


There are things you can do in the lead up to the festive season, and on special occasions when things tend to feel a little too much. These tips can help you get through this time, as well as start to feel more positively and in control of your emotional wellbeing.


1. Be Present


I can’t overstate the benefits of learning to be present and in the moment, All too often we can find our thoughts taking us back to the past – where hurt, pain, sadness, guilt or frustration reside.


And equally, many people struggle with letting go of endless worry – where your mind keeps your energy and focus on possible negative “what-if” events: An imaginary space, where a certain story, or script that hasn’t happened, and may never actually eventuate, keeps playing over in your mind.


Given that our brain doesn’t differentiate between real and imaginary events – you will physiologically experience sadness, fear, or anger (or any other emotion), based purely on your imagined thoughts or memories. This can quickly become exhausting or difficult to manage.


A simple way to get back ‘in the moment’ – is by breathing deeply and slowly, and focusing your thoughts on the feelings and sensations of your breath; through your nose, down to your belly, and then out your mouth. It may even help to count to 10, as you do this exercise, if you need an added distraction.


2. Be Kind and Give to Others


Research has shown that a great source of contentment and satisfaction can come from simply giving to others. This may be through voluntary work of some kind, contributing to a local food drive for those less fortunate, or in the act of buying and giving a gift at Christmas time.


When you focus your thoughts and energy on others, and think about how they may feel upon receiving a favour or gift from you, this can certainly help increase your positivity too!


3. Say ‘No’


Sometimes we all need a reminder that it’s okay to say ‘no’ to others..


If you’re feeling tired, unwell or overwhelmed in some way, it pays to honour yourself, and prioritise your emotional wellbeing.


You may need to politely decline an invite, request or offer when things feel all too much. If you are the sort of person who often feels that others have expectations of you, and you just can’t say ‘no’, then perhaps this tip is something you could really benefit from practicing?


4. Give Yourself the Gift of Peace


Just 10 minutes each day (at least!).


Take some time to unwind, be alone, enjoy that drink, take a bath, or engage in your favourite relaxing activity.


Like many of us, you may spend much of your time giving to others in some way – whether it’s caring for children, being at work, cleaning, cooking, planning & organising for the family, etc. 


Don’t forget to look after you, too. Finding 10 minutes each day, to soak up some peace can do wonders for your inner wellbeing and sense of emotional balance.



Wendy Gilroy is a Mother of 2, and a professional Counsellor for women. Wendy has a degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, and a Diploma of Counselling. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and offers secure ONLINE counselling for women around the world, as well as telephone, face-to-face and home visit services for  mums.

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Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only. If you have any concerns about your physical or mental health, please consult your healthcare practitioner for medical advice.