Are you feeling S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D to get everything done in time for Christmas? You’ll want to read this.

By Caillin Palmero


Are you feeling overwhelmed or on the verge of a serious stress-induced breakdown trying to fit in all your last-minute Christmas shopping between work parties, family lunches and Christmas carols?

We can relate! However, when stress is caused by more than just a few extra pressies to pick up, it can be an isolating and difficult festive season. Know the signs that your stress levels and your loved one’s stress levels may be more than a normal Christmas stress.

This Christmas, the best present you can give your friends and family is your presence. While Christmas is a time to relax and take a break from your daily routine, many suffer from stress, anxiety and burnout during the festive season.

With 35 per cent of Australians reporting significant levels of anxiety symptoms and 26 per cent moderate to very severe depression symptoms, it’s time to check in with your loved ones about their mental health.

Jenny McGee, Clinical Psychologist at The Buttery Private said that it was more important than ever that people were alert to signs of stress and anxiety, for both themselves and their loved ones.

A simple conversation about stress, overwhelm and anxiety with your loved ones is one of the best presents you could give this Christmas. Letting them know they have your support during this difficult time, is another great to help prevent a Christmas breakdown.

So, what are the signs to look for this Christmas? Below are 11 signs that you or your loved one is suffering from stress, overwhelm and anxiety, which may require intervention:

  • Increased procrastination
  • Erratic behaviour
  • Excessive drinking and recreational drug use
  • Misuse of prescription drugs like painkillers or benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium)
  • Memory problems
  • Increased use of social media
  • Overeating
  • Gambling problems
  • Absenteeism (taking too many sick days)
  • Presenteeism (going to work but not really being there)
  • Withdrawal from social situations


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