9 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health At Christmas

07th December 2018

1. Share The Christmas Load

Often at Christmas, it can feel like you’re the one that’s left to organise and finish everything – both at home and at work! Whether that’s meeting the end of year project deadline, or finishing the Christmas shopping and wrapping. The pressure of deadlines and responsibility is stressful for anyone, and it can take the enjoyment out of the festive period. When you feel your stress levels rising, it’s important to talk about how you’re feeling. During this busy period, it’s more important than ever to get others involved; delegate and remember that you can say no!

2. Finish Everything Before You Go

For many types of businesses, there appears to be an endless to-do list on the run-up to Christmas. From one day to the next, more and more tasks need to be done. But in order to enjoy the Christmas break, and reduce your stress levels it is important to be organised, to better manage these tasks. Make a list of everything you need to do, and prioritise so that you know the most important tasks will be completed. Be sure to be realistic in your workload to avoid feelings of disappointment! Just like sharing your workload, make sure you get your team involved! As well as getting everything done that you need to before you finish, make a plan for when you return to work so that you feel more organised when you come back. Most importantly, don’t think about work once you break up! It can wait until after the holiday.

3. Moderate Your Spending

Christmas is a time for enjoying yourself, treating yourself and also treating others. There is a never-ending list of gifts to buy and food to indulge on, putting many of us under financial pressure and stress. To limit these feelings, set a budget and stick to it! It’ll help you better monitor your money, and make sure you don’t over-spend, or layout more than you can afford. Our top tip is to avoid last-minute panic buying, this increases your feelings of stress and ends up costing so much more. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself in the new year!

4. Plan Events & Pace Yourself

With so much going on over the festive period, you often feel like you don’t want to miss out on social events or disappoint anyone by not turning up. So what could be an enjoyable period, ends up being unnecessarily stressful. Yet, it is important to remember you can’t go to everything. Make sure that in December and over the new year, you plan your events and decide which you want to go to so that you make time for yourself. You’ll feel much better rested in the long run!

5. Make Time For Yourself

Similarly, assigning some ‘me time’ over the Christmas break is really important in looking after your health and wellbeing. Setting limits on your plans, and putting time aside to wind down and refresh over the new year is key. Emotions and stress levels can rise a lot over the festive period, so using your time to recuperate and for self-care is really important in looking after your mental health.

6. Everything In Moderation

Whilst it’s natural to enjoy plenty of glorious food and drink over the festivities, it is key to stay mindful of how much you’re having, and not to over-do it. Eating or drinking too much can result in negative side-effects such as feeling guilty, feeling bloated or alcohol leading to increased emotions or interfering with prescribed medication. Make sure you stay in control and don’t let yourself go. A good tip is to go for a walk to help you feel less sluggish and as well as letting you burn off those extra Christmas calories!

7. Exercise

You might be thinking, is this a joke? Exercise over Christmas? It’s not a new idea that exercise makes us feel happier and more balanced, hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and testosterone are released in response to increased physical activity; making us feel good! We might not think it, but our mental health can suffer over the festive period, so make sure you plan a fresh winter walk or quick gym session to refocus your mind.

8. Talk About How You’re Feeling

As mentioned above, our mental health can take a hit over Christmas. Because we feel like we should be happy and enjoying the festive period, it can make it even more difficult to talk about our feelings. You need to take a step towards managing your own mental wellbeing and do what you can to stay happy and healthy. Make the time to speak to someone you can trust to offload and make sure you create opportunities for conversation so that it doesn’t all get too much.

9. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others

Our final top tip to look after your mental health at Christmas is to try not to compare yourself to others. Doing so can have a really negative effect on the way we feel as well as our self-esteem. From that post you see on Instagram to the Christmas ads, don’t compare yourself to and measure against these. Spend some time off social media, and focus on what makes you happy in the festive period.

Hopefully using some of these top tips will help you to put your mental health first this Christmas! If you’re struggling, remember there are people out there that can help, don’t suffer in silence.

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