Christmas can be a joyful time of year for people and some thing you look forward too, or it may be a time of year you find a bit tough, through feelings of obligation to social plans or an increase in feelings of loneliness and isolation or missing someone. Sometimes it can even be frustrating by others views of a 'Perfect Christmas' if these feel different to your own experience.
What the Christmas period brings will be individual to each of us and that is okay. Also, the current uncertainty with the Covid-19 pandemic may also increase our stress or anxiety.
Tips to help looking after yourself and others during the festive period:
Have clear boundaries with people – friends/family/ colleagues
Balance your sense of social obligations against your need for self-care
Challenge the assumption that anything ‘needs’ to happen over Christmas
Give yourself permission to say no
Think about what your agenda for looking after your wellbeing this Christmas is, and prioritise it
Let family and friends know that you will need time out - with so many plans, parties and gatherings it is important you schedule time for yourself
Actions you can do to help your mental health during the festive period:
Sit in the garden in a warm coat, with a warm drink and get a brief sunny boost - the vitamin D will help give a boost
Meditate - there are many podcasts and YouTube videos which are available to guide you
Find time to yourself – take a long bubbly bath, or go on an errand which you enjoy, 5 minutes to yourself can be really helpful
If you struggle with sleep, stick as close as possible to your usual routine, keep away from electronics with Blue Light an hour before bedtime and try drinking a warm milky drink or camomile tea.
Keep up with your self-care routine – exercise, sleep, socialise, volunteer, walk outdoors - during the colder months with shorter days and dark nights it can be hard to motivate yourself.
Spend time doing charity and community work - this makes the heart feel good, the beauty of helping others, will boost you
Speak to your loved ones - whether they are near or far it is important to catch up or even confide in someone if you are struggling
Create your own experiences and happiness. Be indulgent. Pamper yourself, you deserve it!