Mental health at Christmas: 12 tips for wellbeing
Taking care of your wellbeing
Mental health doesn’t take time off at Christmas, and with all the added stresses that can come with the festive season it’s very important to care for your wellbeing.
- Plan ahead
Avoid unnecessary stress over the festive season by planning as much as possible in the run up to Christmas and being careful not to take on too much. You’re not being selfish by saying “no” to some things or asking for some help. For example, if you’re hosting Christmas dinner, could you ask some of your guests to bring a starter or dessert?
- Make time for you
At Christmas it can be all too easy to get swept up into other people's ideas of fun. It’s important to make sure that you do something you want as well – this is your holiday too! If you know this will be hard, try booking something in advance or setting a free day or two aside just for you.
- Avoid comparisons
If you do decide to use social media over the festive season, avoid comparing your experience to those of your friends. Remember that most people only share the best bits of their lives online and you don’t know what’s going on behind the smiling selfies and prezzie pics!
- Pace yourself
Give yourself time to relax over the Christmas period – don’t be afraid to take time out to go for a walk, listen to music or have a nap if you need it. If you’re hosting, try to plan this in advance.
- Get outside
Going for a wintery walk – even if it’s just around the block – can be the perfect way to get some fresh air and exercise along with a change of place. Being in the same house for too long can get a bit intense, so a change of scenery will do everyone good!
- Try to eat healthily
While it’s normal to over indulge a bit over Christmas, try to keep your diet as balanced as possible with lots of fruit and vegetables. This will help you to avoid energy lows that can have an effect on your mood.
- Alcohol in moderation
While a bit of alcohol can make you feel relaxed, don’t forget that drinking too much can leave you feeling irritable and low. Drinking within the recommended guidelines means you’ll get to enjoy a Christmas tipple, while reducing the negative effects on your mood. Alcohol can also play a big part in arguments and disagreements, so it’s sensible to drink in moderation.
- Get enough sleep
Feeling sleepy can also leave you feeling low, so try to keep to regular sleep patterns as much as possible over the Christmas period. We have lots of tips on how to improve your sleep.
- Talk to someone
If you’re worried about Christmas or feel overwhelmed or under pressure, don’t be afraid to talk to someone about it. Have a chat to someone you trust. Read our tips on talking about your mental health.
- Keep active
Exercise can be great for mental health and there are still ways to keep it up over Christmas! Have a boogie to some festive classics or head outside for a walk in the fresh air. If we’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas, you could even get some people together for a snowball fight or go sledging!
- Christmas alone
If you’re spending Christmas alone, have a think about what you want to do beforehand. You may decide to curl up with a favourite movie, book yourself a getaway or arrange to go to a lunch. Check out these tips to beat loneliness.
It’s no secret – giving something back can help you feel good about yourself and there’s no more perfect time to volunteer than around Christmas. Head to do-it.org to check out current opportunities. There’s even the option to volunteer from home too!
If you're struggling, call us free on 08081 311333 or chat with us online - we're here for you.