Christmas is on us and the festive day is around the corner. The last 18 months has been difficult and this time of year can be particularly problematic. Positivity can be forced on us and it is absolutely fine to feel overwhelmed and have the urge to close off from the world. With the uncertainty going into the new year our mental health can be impacted. We have put together some tips that you may find handy if you feel your mental wellbeing diminishing:
Mental Health and Christmas
1. Have a routine –With longer, cooler, darker mornings and warm duvets, getting up can feel like a challenge. Especially if you are working from home, try as best you can to maintain a morning routine, keep moving and maybe a warm drink.
2. Help out –Spread Christmas cheer by donating gifts & food or volunteering. By getting involved with charities such as Shelter and food banks you could be helping thousands of people with support, foot and presents.
3. Make a list, check it twice –During Christmas it is important to balance any social activity with your own wellbeing. Make sure to book time for yourself to do what makes you happy. This could mean catching up on that box set you have been meaning to watch or reading a nice book. Your plans should be realistic and manageable.
4. Create a Christmas playlist – Studies show that music releases the fee-good chemical - dopamine. Listening to music can reduce stress, improve our mood, help us to sleep better, as well as boost our memory.
5. Avoid comparing to others – It is easy to get tangled up with what everyone else is doing (or buying!). Avoid these unhealthy comparisons, focus on yourself and save your money.
6. Bring out your inner Mary Berry – Cooking is a good way to enhance creativity and gives us a feeling of accomplishment once we complete a lovely dish! We are what we eat though, enjoy everything in moderation as over indulgence can make us feel lethargic and possibly a little remorseful.
7. Plenty of sleep – Sleep is vital for both our physical and mental health. Resting our mind and body helps us seize the day. (see tip one)
8. Connect with others – Spend time with family and friends, close relationships make us feel like we have a sense of belonging. The pandemic has highlighted many new technologies that help us reach out and interact with people - when in person contact can’t happen. If you need someone to talk to at any time of the day, you can call Samaritans for free on 116 123.
9. Winter walk – A good brisk walk is a great way to boost your mood and general fitness. Why not include this in your morning routine.
10. Make decorations – Arty pursuits can help reduce anxiety and lead to a calming environment and positive mental health.
11. Be mindful – Paying attention to your present moment improves your wellbeing. Mindfulness helps us reconnect with ourselves and to our feelings. Take time each day to think of the positive aspects of your life.