Christmas can be a testing time of year for our mental wellbeing. It can be stressful for everyone, even those who don’t live with mental illness. There are financial worries about the cost of presents and going out, pressure to see friends and family and overindulgence with food and alcohol.
Here are some easy ways to try and help your mental wellbeing this Christmas without coming across like Scrooge
It might make you feel better in the short term but don’t forget that it is a depressive so can make you feel irritated, angry and low. Also, the after-effects might not make you feel any better if you end up hungover. You don’t need to go tee-total (unless you want to) but just be mindful of how much you are drinking and how you feel. If you’re starting to feel irritated, have a soft drink or some water and see how you feel.
The temptation is always there over the Christmas period as there always seems to be more food around. Chocolates, Christmas cake, nibbles and once you pop you can’t stop! Trying to keep a healthy diet can help you help avoid mood swings and sugar crashes. A bit of something you enjoy always does you good but try and be mindful of taking it too far as you’ll probably end up regretting it.
When there is so much partying to be done it can be hard to keep your usual sleep patterns. Getting to bed late and not getting enough sleep can soon have a detrimental effect on your mental health especially if you’re not getting time to catch up on your missed sleep. Try and be aware of what time you are getting to bed and how much quality sleep you are getting. Don’t forget as well that alcohol will influence how well you sleep when you finally make it to bed!
Socialising and connecting with people has been proven to be beneficial for our mental health but it can feel like the last thing you want to do and can make you feel anxious, overwhelmed and wanting to shut yourself away. This is an area where you need to find your own balance, don’t isolate yourself but feel like you can set your own boundaries. It is ok to say no, if you don’t want to do something or go somewhere but try not to say no to everything. It is up to you so don’t feel pressured into doing things that you don’t want to as that won’t make you feel any better and makes you more likely to overindulge on food or alcohol.
If you are feeling like connecting with people, why not use it to spread some joy to others and reach out to anyone you know (or if you’re adventurous, don’t know) that might be lonely or struggling. There are plenty of places that you could volunteer to help others or just reach out to people you know and check that they are ok. Give friends a call, send them a message or pay them a visit. A little bit of kindness can go a long way!
If you’re struggling to get outside and exercise in the cold and dark it can make a difference to how you feel. Why not put on some festive tunes and have a dance at home, sing, try some yoga or stretching (there are lots of great apps) or have an indoor home workout using our bodyweight. There is much more to do than you think so why not have a look and see what interests you the most?
Probably the most important one as we all get some time away from work. It’s ok to have some time out and relax. Find some you time so that you can be at your bests. Do whatever works for you, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, exercise, drawing, painting. Whatever it is, try and dedicate some time to it so you can be the best you as you’re awesome!
Have a great Christmas, look after yourself and those around you and remember that if you are finding it all overwhelming reach out to a friend or one of the amazing services below. You are not alone, and you are important so look after yourself.
Call free on 116 123 or visit their website
Shout Crisis Text Line
Text “SHOUT” to 85258 or click on the link
If you are under 35 and feel like life is not worth living call Hopeline UK on 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697 or visit their website