The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us. And despite the fact that your body might be looking forward to a bit of a rest, unfortunately, your mental health doesn’t take time off during the festive season. In fact, a high number of people find themselves struggling, mentally throughout Christmas. Perhaps it’s the pressure, the expectation, the financial aspect or maybe the sudden surge in social gatherings is exacerbating their mental exhaustion. If you’re travelling, it can be even harder to take care of your mental health. Your mental health over Christmas can really suffer too. With all this in mind, its never been more important to take care of your mental health throughout December. So, read on for 6 ways to look after your mental health over Christmas.
Christmas is probably the busiest month of the year for most. With Christmas plays and nativities to attend, cards to write, relatives to visit, gifts to buy, social events etc. It’s never ending! To reduce the inevitable stress, print yourself off a calendar and various checklists – if you’re in need of printer ink check out printerinks.com – and tick things off as you go. Having schedules visible and easy to check means you’re less likely to double book yourself over the festive period. When you see how busy and stretched you are in black and white then you’re more likely to say “No” to others who are demanding more from you.
Don’t compare yourself
Social media at this time of year is bursting with picture perfect images of grand Christmas trees, piles of presents and flawless family photographs, making it difficult not to compare yourself. The main thing to remember is that most people only post the best part of themselves online, and behind that mountain of gifts and glittering smiles there is stress, pressure, temper tantrums and they’re probably feeling the same way that you do! So, be kind to yourself.
Getting sunlight throughout winter can seem difficult, but it’s important that we expose ourselves to as much natural light as we possibly can, so our body can produce vitamin D and regulate our moods better. Open the curtains and blinds and let the light in. Enjoy lunch outside on your break at work or enjoy a 30 minute walk around your local park and embrace the change of scenery.
The gift of sleep
A lack of sleep can affect our mood significantly. So, try to ensure you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night and taking it easy on the days that you don’t. It’s common for our sleep patterns to be disturbed during this busy month, so try to keep to your sleep and wake times as close to normal possible.
One way to give yourself a mental heath boost this Christmas is to do something for someone else. Volunteering is a sure fire way to make you feel good and give something back. Search online for local opportunities, whether it’s helping the homeless or volunteering a couple of hours at a local animal shelter.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stressed over the festive period, but if you’re concerned about feelings that won’t go away, then reach out to someone and talk. A family member, a friend or even your GP are great places to start.