Cope at Christmas
We are all bombarded with pictures and adverts of an ideal Christmas at this time of year.
If you find this time of year a struggle, you’re not alone. Here at CW Mind we know Christmas can be tough for so many for a variety of reasons.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the coming festivities, take a look at our top tips below which have been compiled by one of our mental health experts, Denver Thorpe, who leads our mental health training department which delivers a range of courses.
Also remember, our free to access services are available throughout the festive season and beyond, Take a look at our Wellbeing Hub opening times and Mental Health and Wellbeing Bus locations throughout the festive period and new year.
1. Take a step back
Try not to put extra pressure on yourself. Christmas is just one part of the year. Ask yourself what it really means and for most people having fun with friends and family is what we remember most.
Try www.anxiety.org.uk for some great tips on reducing anxiety at Christmas.
2. Prepare and be “good enough”
Making lists can help with organisation but be realistic and don’t give yourself too much to do. None of us are perfect so just do your best and be “good enough”.
3. Look after your health
With all the excesses the festive season can tempt us with, we do need to remember that our physical health can have a huge impact upon our mental health. Too much alcohol and rich food can result in low moods and anxiety. Try to get outside for a walk for 20 minutes every day, drink water and eat fresh food.
In the UK and other European countries we do not get enough rest or sleep leading to poor mental health. Ideally, we should be sleeping in a dark room with no electronic devices or distractions. Completing a relaxation exercise before bed and following a hygiene routine will help restful sleep. If you are having problems getting to sleep try www.sleepio.com or www.sleepfoundation.org
5. Self care
Do something you like to do that is not related to Christmas. Reading, walking, dancing or any form of relaxation will have a positive effect on your stress levels.
6. Try Mindfulness
This form of meditation has been very successful in helping people relax. The main idea is to focus on the present day. Worries about the past or fears for the future tend to result in anxiety and rumination. Find out more details at:
7. Social media
Step back from the messages of perfection and people telling you they are having all the fun. Try sending your own message of goodwill such as ‘Best wishes and good mental health!’.
8. Community kindness
Helping other people improves our own mental health. Try a volunteering activity or helping someone you know is struggling. Our own web site www.cwmind.org.uk has some great tips on all aspects of improving your mental health as well as details of support available over the festive season.
Merry Christmas and good mental health!