Christmas Self Care Tips
Christmas is a time for families, friends, parties and gatherings!
Festive Cheer, Christmas Spirit, Merry Christmas are a few phrases heard at this time of year. A time when we are encouraged to paint on a smile and be happy.
Is this always the case?
Christmas can, for some people, be a time of increased stress, immense pressure and loneliness. What can we do to take care of ourselves?
Here are some tips for self care at Christmas:
Physical activity, be it walking, swimming, running, cycling or whatever activity you enjoy, is known to be good for our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Spend time outdoors
Spending time out in the fresh air is good for our mental health. Being out in the natural environment lowers blood pressure, strengthens your immune system and reduces stress.
Manage your expectations
There is pressure to create the ‘perfect’ Christmas. This can place you under a great deal of stress. Spending too much time trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal. Relax and rather than racing around, just enjoy the time you have with your family and friends.
This is a time when emotions can run high, spending time with relatives you don’t see often, trying to fit everyone into your schedule. Be assertive and set ground rules. Remember that not everyone will be on their best behaviour. Take time out by going for a walk or doing something you enjoy.
Avoid using alcohol to cope with the increased stress, or to cope with your difficult relative. This can backfire and you may say or do something you regret. The after effect will leave you feeling lethargic and low in mood.
Chocolates, mince pies, sausage rolls and lots of high fat, high sugar foods cover our tables at Christmas. Make sure you have a healthy, balanced diet. Plenty of fruit and vegetables to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep . This is important for our well-being. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, low mood, loss of concentration and cause a downward spiral to our mental health.
Just say ‘NO’
Prioritise yourself and your own well-being. You do not have to agree to everything. Saying ‘no’ often feels difficult , but it can give us the space to rest and recharge.
Be kind to yourself
I think we can all agree that it’s been a difficult time. Don’t be hard on yourself, allow yourself to just relax and don’t expect too much of yourself.
Look after yourself
‘Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind’ Dr Seuss.
Take time to read a book, have a lovely bath, practice yoga or do anything that gives you pleasure.
If you are struggling, talk to someone you trust . If you need support, don’t be afraid to ask for help.