Minding your mental health at Christmas
By Lisa Ryan.
The festive season can be a busy time of celebrating but sometimes it can be overwhelming and stressful for many people. This may be because you are feeling stressed, anxious, lonely, dealing with addiction, depressed or grieving the loss of a loved one.
Here are some tips on how to mind your mental health over Christmas:
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take some time out of your day to day life. Take the time to re-energize by giving yourself a change of scene or pace.
It’s okay to prioritize what’s best for you especially around a difficult time. Plan ahead and say no to events or gatherings that might not be beneficial for you. Try not to isolate yourself for the whole time but know that it’s ok to put yourself first. Don’t feel like you have to do all that is traditionally expected of you.
Look after yourself, make sure you are eating well and getting some physical exercise over the Christmas period. Try to keep a regular sleeping pattern. If you are working over Christmas, try making sure you have the adequate time off to rest.
Monitoring you alcohol
Christmas parties encourage socializing and it’s very easy to get carried away but know your limits. It’s important to maintain your personal wellbeing too. Be sure to eat before you drink and alternate between glasses of water wherever you can.
Reach out to those around you for support, talk about how your feeling or reach out to support services. Make a list of any services that you might need and their Christmas opening hours.
Tell people what they can stop, start or continue doing to help you. For example, you could let them know any activities you’d like to be involved in, and what they can do to support you during Christmas. Or you could tell them any questions or topics that you find hard to discuss, so they can avoid asking about them.
How to support a loved one at Christmas
While Christmas may be a joyful and fun time for you, for a loved one close to you they may have a very different experience. For many people the festive season can be overwhelming and difficult. This may be because they are feeling stressed, anxious, lonely, dealing with addiction, depressed or grieving the loss of a loved one. Here are some tips on how to support them during this time:
- Ask your loved one how you can help them.
- Let them know you understand Christmas can be difficult for them and you’re there for them.
- Listen and offer support but avoid pushing unwanted advice.
- Be patient with them, learning and practicing new coping strategies takes time.
- Reach out to loved ones who may be lonely at Christmas.
- Set boundaries and seek support for yourself, if needed.