In our series of blogs this December, we’re looking at the mental health hacks that can help you get through the Christmas period. Research produced by mental health charity MIND shows that 25% of people feel under pressure to produce the perfect Christmas. And 31% of people with existing mental health issues feel that they feel overwhelmed during the festive season.
While most people enjoy Christmas as a happy time, it is clear that many people struggle, and that levels of stress and anxiety are higher than at other times of the year.
There can be many reasons why this is the case. just a few of these could be:
- feelings of loneliness
- pressure to produce the perfect Christmas
- difficult family relationships
- money worries
Of course, there are many others.
But how do you deal with the stressors that come around at Christmas? Or any other time of year for that matter.
In our 3 part blog series, we look at some of the mental health hacks that you can deploy to help you manage those stressors, and overcome your anxieties at this time of year.
Mental Health Hacks to Help you During the Festive Season
1. Set Goals
Having a focus can be a big help in keeping on track with what you want to achieve. You might want to set a goal for the month, a long term goal, or something that you want to achieve in your lifetime. It’s really about what works best for you. And you can apply goals to your working and personal life. What do you want to achieve this Christmas? Is it a wonderful Christmas Day with family, or perhaps something else? It’s personal to you.
2. Create Routines
Do you find that sometimes days seem to pass without anything getting done? Or you feel like you’re rushing around in circles? Busy lives mean chaos right? Well, no. Think about a routine. It could be a simple as deciding when meal breaks are, or as complex as breaking your working day down by the hour. Again, it’s about what suits you. And it’s about productivity. With routine, you can get everything done. And you can manage your workload- whether at home or at work, to suit you best. When the mad dash to Christmas has started, this can be even more effective to help you manage activity overload!
3. Get Outdoors
This mental health hack might seem a bit cliche but it really isn’t. Make time to go for a walk, a run, or have a cup of tea in the garden. (OK maybe not the cup of tea in December). But outdoor exercise releases endorphins and other hormones that help to mitigate the impact of stress. And it’s a great opportunity to clear your head or mull over a conundrum.
4. Take Proper Breaks
Regularly work through lunch at work? Or don’t stop during the day? Try taking a few minutes out when it suits you to just stop and relax. It’s as simple as putting the kettle on, taking a proper lunch break, and giving yourself headspace. How do you feel when you get back to your day? A little clearer-headed? Your body becomes exhausted, you can suffer injury and suffer low energy if you don’t give it time to relax and recover right? Think of your mind in the same way.
A Simple Structure for a Happier, More Productive Life
Putting a simple structure in place can help you to put into perspective what you want to achieve, and focus on what’s important. Not only that, but you can manage those feelings of overwhelm simply by empowering yourself to take control, and understand what you can and can’t achieve.
12 Mental Health Hacks for Christmas Season: Part 2
Watch out for our next blog where we look at learning and awareness, and how you can improve your understanding of difficult stressors, emotions, and thoughts.