With the festive season nearly underway it’s all too common to feel low or struggle with the pressures of this time of year. Here are Lifelink’s five top tips you can use to support your mental health and feel well over the next few weeks.
Stay in touch
While Christmas can be a brilliant opportunity to spend time with family and friends it can also be an extremely difficult and isolating time for others. Take some time to ring the person you haven’t spoken to in a while and reconnect – this is the perfect time of year to rekindle contact with old friends and loved ones if you’re feeling low. Equally, why not check in on a neighbour or someone you make think would appreciate a friendly call over this period.
With short days and cold, often rainy, weather we tend to want to hunker down indoors at this time of year. However getting the blood pumping by adventuring out for a brisk walk or riding that new Christmas bike can make a huge difference. Why not take the kids ice-skating? Or if it’s pouring rain clear away that wrapping paper and make up a silly dance routine to your favourite Christmas song. Not only will getting out and active prevent everyone from going stir-crazy in the house together, but you’ll enjoy snuggling up on the sofa even more when you get in out the cold.
Food & Drink
The period between Christmas and New Year is notorious for lots of sweets, snacking and overindulgence at meal times – not to mention one too many Sherries throughout the day. While these things are delicious and part of the season it’s important to try and keep a balanced diet – stocking up on fruit and veg will make all the difference to how you’re feeling over the week.
It’s important that amongst all the madness of the season you take some time for yourself to settle down and unwind. Switch the TV off (or on!) for a few hours, light some candles and take a long bath or take a stroll outside, remember not to feel under too much pressure to spend every waking minute with other people in the house. If you find yourself tense stop and breathe, don’t worry about the in-breath (this normally takes care of itself) but get used to breathing out to relieve tension, sometimes just making a sighing noise can help.
Whether you’re staying up late watching for Santa or just agreed to one Christmas party night too many, it’s easy to disrupt sleeping patterns at this time of year. Try to keep yourself in a steady routine and get between 7-9 hours sleep a night to feel refreshed for the festivities.