As the festive season rapidly approaches, it is important to remember that Christmas can be a stressful and overwhelming time for many of us.
There are many reasons why some of us do not enjoy the holiday season, but when the world is bombarding us with messages about why we should be happy, carefree and enjoying ourselves with our friends and family, attempting to hide these feelings of stress, sadness and overwhelm can add to the pressures we are already experiencing.
Here are our top 10 tips for looking after your Mental Health during the festive season:
1. Set your budget
Christmas can be a very expensive time of year. Make a budget and stick to it, ensuring you keep enough money aside to pay for your regular expenses. Instead of giving in to the pressures to purchase expensive gifts, give friends and family gifts of your time or handmake your gifts for a personal touch.
2. Eat well
With constant Christmas parties coming up, it can be very easy to overeat. Poor nutrition can significantly impact your mental health. While navigating the Christmas party season, continue to ensure you consume a healthy, well-balanced diet, and your body will thank you for it!
3. Be mindful of your Alcohol intake
Don’t let the ‘silly season’ get the better of you!! Watch your alcohol intake and be mindful of how much alcohol you consume – remember, moderation is key!
4. Keep Active
Being physically active can enhance your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and increase self-esteem. Keeping active throughout the festive season will help maintain your physical and mental well-being.
5. Get plenty of sleep
Christmas parties, work stresses and holidays can significantly disrupt our usual sleep cycles. Throughout the festive season, it is important to ensure you are getting adequate sleep to provide your brain and body with a chance to rest and repair. Restful sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal mental health, so make sure you are getting your 8 hours a night!
6. Keep in Touch
Having close and supportive friendships is crucial for optimal mental health. Use the festive season as an excuse to connect or reconnect with friends and family.
7. Be Mindful
Take some time out to practice mindfulness. Practice being present in the moment, appreciating and accepting it for what it is, without judgement. Take this time to experience and enjoy the festive season as it is occurring, and stop worrying about the future
8. Learn to say no
The festive season is a time when we can feel pressured to say yes to many and varied requests from others. Know your limits and feel comfortable saying no when you receive a request outside your comfort zone or capacity.
9. Take a Break
Even if it is just 5 mins, take time out for yourself to put your feet up, have a cuppa and rest.
10. Ask for Help
If you are feeling overwhelmed and need support, ask your friends and family for some help, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 and NSW Mental Health Crisis Line on 1800 011 511.
Your mental health is so important, by making small changes, you can ensure that you not only survive but enjoy the festive season! You might sometimes need the help of a professional and that is where we can help. You can reach out to Recovery Station on 1300 588 851.
Until next time,