Although Christmas is a joyous time of year – for some it can be overwhelming. It is certainly not uncommon to feel drained around the holiday season. If you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress or addiction Christmas can trigger your symptoms. The increased social pressure, financial worries, alcohol consumption and feelings of worthlessness, can be particularly tough to combat at Christmas when everyone else appears to be in high spirits.
If you find yourself struggling around this time of year, we have created a blog outlining some tips on how to look after yourself and your mental health this Christmas.
- Make time for yourself
It is so easy to get carried away with the rush of celebrations and catching up with family members – but remember it’s important to take time out too. If sometimes you wish you could press pause, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ if you need to. Make sure that you take some time out to recharge and do the things that you enjoy. Looking for tips on self-care? Click here to see how you can incorporate self-care into your routine.
- Speak to someone if you’re struggling
For some, Christmas time can shine a light on how alone they feel, and they can experience increased isolation. If you have experienced the loss of a family member you may find it particularly difficult.
Many local organisations offer support at Christmas; libraries, community centres and local charities can provide support. You may find that volunteering will help you combat your feelings of isolation. Click here for more information on the importance of talking about mental health.
- Don’t burn the candle at both ends
Most healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to be able to function properly the next day. When it comes to the festive period – this is no different! This can be difficult as your normal sleeping routine is usually thrown off balance throughout the Christmas period.
Not getting enough sleep has a negative impact on your mental health, if possible, try and stick to your regular sleep pattern. Remember that alcohol can also have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep.
- Exercise and eat healthily
At Christmas it is hard to maintain a healthy diet and alcohol intake – of course it is the time to treat yourself but be sure not to overdo it to help maintain a stable mood. There are negative side-effects of overindulgence from guilt to feeling unwell. Also remember that alcohol can lead to increased emotions and may interfere with prescribed medication.
Regular exercise plays a pivotal role in improving mental health. Studies show that regular aerobic exercise plays a huge role in relation to a positive mood. You don’t have to be Usain Bolt, simply try and go for a walk or a short bike ride – each day if you can.
Just because the hustle and bustle of Christmas time takes over, doesn’t mean that your mental health needs to be put on the back burner. Eat as healthily as possible, make sure you get plenty of rest, and surround yourself with positive influences.
Northern Healthcare provides a high-quality mental health recovery service across the whole of the UK – our service includes both residential units and a community outreach programme. With a highly experienced team of clinical experts, we offer 24-hour support for all residents, including occupational therapy and individual care pathways.
To find out more information about what we have to offer, or if you wish to make a resident referral, visit our website and our experts will be happy to help: http://www.northernhealthcare.org.uk/referrals/
If you are struggling please do not hesitate to get in touch with support charities, here are a couple but there are many more services who offer support:
‘The Samaritans’ offer free confidential support for more information visit: www.samaritans.org.
The charity ‘Mind’ provides a support line service 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays). You can call their Infoline – 0300 123 3393, email email@example.com, text: 86463 or visit their website for more information: www.mind.org.uk