Tips for coping at Christmas from North Somerset Wellbeing
Many of us can struggle with our self-care as we deal with the challenges and perceived expectations of Christmas. Our team at North Somerset Wellbeing, who provide mental health support to adults and their carers, has put together this collection of tips to support your wellbeing.
- Stay active! Try engaging in daily exercise to help your mental wellbeing over the festive period. This can be something small such as a short mindful walk, or if it is too cold you could try something like indoor chair yoga!
Even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Physical activity and exercise can also help to lower stress levels and help us sleep better!
- Open up to someone if you are struggling. Christmas can be a difficult time for many people and for many different reasons; family dynamics, financial pressures and changes in routine. Try and check-in with someone regularly, even if this is a brief interaction, as connection with others is important for our wellbeing.
- Plan ahead. It can often help to plan ahead for different festive events as this can help reduce stress and help us feel more prepared. Problem solving can be a good way to manage upcoming events and helping us to navigate our way through tricky situations. Have a look at this step-by-step guide to problem solving.
- Seek connection. The festive period can feel a lonely time for many people, for many different reasons. If you are alone this Christmas and want to connect with others, there are many different things you could try. This could include volunteering at a local homeless shelter, planning to attend a local Christmas community event near you or even reach out to others who may be alone this Christmas. Charities such as the Marmalade Trust are one of many providing support to those experiencing loneliness over the Christmas period.
- Be kind to yourself. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves over the festive period, whether this is financially, arranging, attending or hosting events or even feeling pressure to spend time with people we don’t really enjoy spending time with. If this is the case, it is important that we look after own our wellbeing. We can do this through self-care and self-kindness. Self-kindness and self-care don’t have to be grand gestures, they could simply include:
- Being mindful of the way we speak to ourselves. It can be useful to consider what we may say to a friend if they were feeling the way we are.
- Giving ourselves permission to take a break. This could be to watch a TV programme we enjoy, go for a walk or even switch our phones off for an hour or two.
- Use positive affirmations to help you overcome negative thoughts that may make you doubt yourself. Try writing a list for yourself and revisit them throughout the day.
- If you are feeling stressed, sad or anxious, try to remind yourself that this is temporary and will pass.
- Try and continue to do the things that keep you well during the festive period, even if your routine is interrupted. This can include remembering to take medication, avoiding or limiting alcohol, eating well and getting enough sleep.
- Say ‘no’ when you need to. Although saying no can feel difficult at times (especially during the festive period), remembering that our needs are just as important as others is essential for our own mental wellbeing. If this is something you struggle with, have a look at this article for some ways to go about saying ‘no’
North Somerset Wellbeing aims to help people develop skills to manage their own mental wellbeing and recovery journey; we do this by running group courses and activities using wellbeing college style techniques.