OH! Magazine - Australian Version December 2018 - Page 11

them, and intentionally releasing muscle tension in your body can lead to your internal state following suit. Yoga, tai chi and exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation, walking and slow breathing (in for three seconds, out for five) are all helpful ways to relieve mental and muscle tension. 7. Find a confidant you trust Sharing your problems and concerns with a trusted friend can lead to clarity and a different perspective on a particular cause of stress or anxiety. Find someone who is happy to talk to you once or twice a week, and is non-judgemental. But choose the right time to talk to them so that you have their undivided attention, and let them know whether you are seeking advice or just a listening ear. 8. Seek support, guidance and strategies for coping If you are withdrawn from social activities or are avoiding them completely, finding it difficult to concentrate, or drinking more to cope with feelings of stress, it is important to seek help now to find the strategies to manage stress and anxiety over Christmas. Physical symptoms such as insomnia, heart palpitations, trembling, nausea, panic attacks, and changes in appetite can also manifest. Christmas is also the time to keep an eye out for loved ones who may be exhibiting these symptoms. Encourage them to seek help at specialised clinics such as Wesley Hospital, which uses evidence-based therapies to help Australians in the recovery, management and prevention of these conditions. Judy Chan Judy is a clinical psychologist at Wesley Hospital in Sydney’s Ashfield, which has provided world-class mental health treatment for more than 60 years. She has extensive experience in treating stress, anxiety and depression. OH! MAGAZINE ( DECEMBER 2018 ) 11