Taking care of your mental health over Christmas

Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together, exchange gifts and enjoy the celebrations of Christmas.


But, for some people, it can be a difficult time and not ‘the most wonderful time of the year’. Some people may feel the pressure of social plans or even loneliness and isolation.


Many people may still be worried about the ongoing pandemic and how it may affect the festive season, which is completely understandable.  No matter what has got you worried or feeling anxious throughout December, you cannot forget about taking care of your mental health.


Here are some top tips for supporting your mental health during the festive season.

 

1.  Taking time for yourself

 

Christmas at times can get quite busy, buying gifts, spending time with family and friends, cooking Christmas
dinner, etc. At times it might feel like you have a million different things you need to do and get in preparation for it
all.


Don’t forget to make some time for just you! it is important to take time for self-care for yourself.

 

Some ideas of self-care over Christmas can include:

  • Going outside to get some exercise, this can be walking, running or jogging, whatever you fancy doing.
  • Meditate (Insight is a good app that is free with guided medication or music you can listen to).
  • Game, you could invite friends round for some board games or if you are a gamer, playing on Xbox, PlayStation or PC
  • Journaling, just by writing down what happened every day can help you see how the day went and even how you can make the next day a better one.
  • Shopping - this can be treating yourself to something you don’t usually buy that will make you happy, like a more expensive shampoo and conditioner, face masks, fluffy socks or whatever else will bring you joy.

 

2.  Being open and honest

 

Especially with the pressure to be happy and jolly around Christmas, it makes a lot of people feel they need to put on a front and hide how they truly feel.


It is okay if you aren’t feeling good during the festive time, but it may help to be honest with the people around you during Christmas how you are feeling. This can be family, friends and even colleagues.


Christmas is a good time for enjoying each other's company, but don’t let that make you feel you need to hide or pretend that you are okay when you aren’t.

 

3.  Set boundaries 

 

Many people may feel like a bad person by setting boundaries, especially over Christmas. However, it can be important to set boundaries around the Christmas period.


Some people may feel they may need to keep up with tradition around Christmas and breaking that tradition would break people’s hearts. But for some people, they may want to do something different one year and that is okay.


For people living away from family, you might want to spend where you are at Christmas, but you feel conflicted because your family would be sad not to see you. As hard as it may be, it is completely fine and you shouldn’t feel obliged to give in and do something just because it will upset people otherwise.

 

4.  Planning ahead

 

Christmas can be a time jam-packed with so much to do and loads of people to see, it can be exhausting.

 

Writing down dates and what needs doing, can help ensure you are organised and can fit in everything you need to do and see everyone over the festive period.


You will put your mind at ease if you plan ahead, so you don’t need to rush and panic before Christmas day.

 

5.  Getting together with your loved ones

 

Christmas is a time where people get together with their friends and family to celebrate Christmas where it can be exchanging gifts, having Christmas dinner or just getting together.


Being around people you care about and the other way around makes us happy and can boost our mood.


Even if you can’t be with people in person, video chatting or phone calls can help.

 

6.  Christmas playlist

 

This is not as much as a must, but for many people, it is essential to get the Christmas tunes on as soon as
December comes (any day before is unacceptable ?).


Create a playlist on YouTube, Spotify, etc of your favourite Christmas music, it will boost your mood and may make you feel more in the festive mood ready for Christmas.


Your mental health still matters over Christmas, don’t forget that! Take care of yourself over the festive season and make sure to have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

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