Christmas without stress is a myth. All of those things that drain and deplete you throughout the year will still be there throughout the festivities. They don’t take a day off just because it’s a holiday. Is it possible to embrace a cool Yule and remain zen? You bet. We’ve put together 10 Christmas wellbeing tips to manage your mental health over the festivities.
Christmas doesn’t have to be bah humbug. It’s possible to embrace those 12 days with positivity, focusing on your own mental health and wellbeing. Here’s how to navigate the festive season with our 10 Christmas Wellbeing Tips.
Remember that Christmas isn’t all about creating the perfect day (that doesn’t exist). Be realistic about what you can achieve. Create a plan in advance (along with a budget) and stick to it. Remember to ask others for help. Last minute rushing can add additional stress to the festive period but deciding in advance what needs to be done by when will help you to feel more in control and less likely to experience last minute panic. Don’t feel pressured to compete with others. Known as self referential processing, this will only leave you feeling low. Instead, focus on what you can control, what makes you happy and what is important in your life.
2. Get out in Nature.
Whether it’s the local park or a spot of forest bathing, time in nature will help you to decompress. We experience huge mental health benefits when we spend time outdoors. Take a look at our blog all about spending time in nature to find out more about how green space will decrease stress and build your resilience. Moving your body will also help to jump start your lymphatic system, getting rid of any toxins in your body.
3. Be Kind.
To yourself and others. Check in and connect with friends, family and neighbours. Helping others will benefit them and yourself. Be kind to yourself by setting boundaries. We’ve all got our own mental and emotional limits. When you say yes to every party, invitation or request for help, it’s all too easy to burn out. You can’t do everything, see everyone, be fabulous on tap – and hang on a minute, who said that you had to be? Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. It’s strategic. Do it and do it without feeling guilty.
4. Digital Detox.
We 100% recommend ditching your devices on the day. If you’re feeling depleted, social media is the last place to focus your attention. Christmas can be a source of stress, anxiety and depression for many of us – social media will only magnify those feelings. This is linked to your happiness and your sanity. If you can’t manage to go cold turkey then limit your time on social media each day. You’ll feel better for it. Disconnect with your tech to truly connect with who and what is important to you.
5. Shift from Doing to Being.
You can’t be there for anyone else if you don’t check in with yourself and your own energy levels first. Self care makes sense when the pressure’s on. You wouldn’t expect an athlete to perform on empty before a big race and you’re no different. Think balance. You need enough emotional bandwidth to get through the season.
Slow down and create a slice of regular quiet time over the festive season. Listen to your body, maybe you need it daily or weekly. Pay attention, tune in to your internal barometer. Find out what you need and do it, whether that means time spent doing something that relaxes you, reading a book, listening to music or a gloriously long, hot soak.
6. Ditch the Diet.
Let’s face it, Christmas revolves around food. It’s important that you look after yourself and stay healthy but being on a diet over Christmas is just plain miserable. On the day, if you’re indulging enjoy it, savour each mouthful and really notice what you’re eating. Think of it as a mindful eating practice.
Don’t beat yourself up. If you do find that you’re feeling the effects too much processed food, alcohol or sugar (we’ve all done it) and your wellbeing is suffering as a result, give your digestive tract a rest. Rich, sugary foods can cause inflammation and cell damage.Your digestive system may need time to regenerate cells and repair damage. Allow it to rest by starting the day with hot water and lemon and eating unprocessed foods until you feel less sluggish.
7. Drink with Awareness.
Alcohol can lower your mood and leave you feeling sluggish. If you drink, know your limits and stay hydrated in between tipples – one drink, one water is a useful rule of thumb. Your wellbeing (and your head) will thank you for it in the morning.
8. Practice Gratitude.
Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t. Create space to focus on all of the things in your life that you are grateful for. Gratitude is linked to wellbeing and resilience in countless studies. This TED Talk from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar suggests that happiness is born from gratitude. Watch an inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful
9. Enjoy the Full Moon.
This year a full moon falls on Christmas Day. The next time we’ll see it is in another 19 years so press pause and take time to watch this special Christmas moon. Ancient Ayurvedic moon bathing has been used for centuries as a way to reconnect with nature and soothe the mind and body so after the day is over, find a quiet spot and enjoy those moon beams.
10. Talk to Someone.
If it all feels overwhelming at any point and your wellbeing is suffering, remember that the Samaritans are still open 24/7 over the holiday period to offer emotional support. They can be contacted free on 116 123 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, it’s ok not to be ok. Talk to someone, you’re not alone.
We’ve loved every minute of working with you this year and wish you a peaceful, happy and relaxing break – however you choose to spend it. Stay well x