Sometimes Christmas can be a difficult time of year. Some people feel overwhelmed and struggle with their mental health or wellbeing. This could be because of the pressures of the season or the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are some things you can try that might help you look after your mental health at Christmas.
Tips to reduce pressures
Try to ease pressure on yourself where you can. Do not expect that Christmas will be perfect. Be realistic about what you can expect from yourself and others.
You can try to:
- write down what is really important to you in order of priority
- focus on priorities and do 1 thing at a time
- give yourself permission to say ‘no’
- plan ahead
- organise things you’d like to do outside of family gatherings
Reflect on what you've achieved
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of our hopes and plans.
This Christmas period, use the time to reflect on how far you have come and all you have achieved.
If you’re feeling disappointed, try not to be hard on yourself. Accept yourself and where you are right now.
Show compassion for others
A simple act of kindness can change any experience completely. Often at Christmas, people feel more lonely and isolated than normal. A thoughtful gesture can make a real difference. This could be spending time with someone or offering them a listening ear.
Helping others can increase your own sense of wellbeing. An easy way to do this is to take part in your community.
At times like Christmas, it's easy to fall out of your normal routine. Your body clock can change and you might over-indulge in many different ways.
As a result, your motivation levels can drop and you can feel bloated, sluggish and unwell.
Maintain your healthy habits by:
- keeping a healthy sleep pattern
- making an effort to exercise outdoors
- eating healthily
- minding your alcohol intake
Above all else, allow yourself to take some time out. If you are feeling drained in any way, find yourself a quiet space to breathe.
Take time to rest and restore your energy. Christmas might be all about giving, but that means giving to yourself too.
Get help if you need it
You may try your best but continue to feel low, stressed, sad or anxious.
Talk to your GP before Christmas about how they can help.
You can still get support during the Christmas period. Many helplines and online services stay open over the holidays.