Christmas is nearly here, the Christmas songs are playing non-stop, the tree has been put up, the traffic is building up, and present buying is under way. Soon enough, the last-minute dash to the supermarkets will commence, the wrapping if not done already will be started.
There is no question about it – Christmas is a busy time of the year.
Take a look at our top 5 tips for mental health this Christmas.
Tip #1 – Set a budget and stick to your budget
A lot of pressure is placed on everyone at Christmas when it comes to buying presents. We go overboard and end up putting ourselves in financial difficulty, which effects our mental health. Therefore, forget what everyone else is doing, don’t worry about who is buying for you. Set a budget overall for what you can personally afford this Christmas. Make a list of who you will be buying for, and delegate your budget out against each person.
Now the challenge comes – STICK TO THE BUDGET. Even if someone comes to you with a present and you don’t have one to give them back. They won’t actually be upset about it, this is just what we perceive people to be like.
Tip #2 – Visit your Neighbour
Christmas is a perfect time to speak to our neighbours. A high percentage of people don’t actually speak to their neighbours. Therefore, when you write your cards out this Christmas, write one for your neighbour and personally take it to them. DON’T POST IT, knock on the door and speak to them.
This tiny gesture will not only help your own mental wellbeing by giving back to someone else, but also it will have helped your neighbour. Try not to just hand the card over and rush off, ask them if they’re ready for Christmas and about their plans. It’s time we got to know our neighbours.
Tip #3 – Have some time to yourself
Most of the time, we forget to look after the most important person in our lives – YOU. We worry at this time of the year about everyone else. Especially parent’s as we all want to make Christmas the best one yet for our children. However, you always have to remember that if you do too much, IT WILL affect your mental wellbeing. You’re no use to your children if you aren’t looking after yourself.
Make sure that you take at least 1 hour every week to just have you time. Put it on your calendar, make sure that your partner and children know that you won’t be available that hour. Do what you enjoy in that hour, whatever that may be. Maybe a trip to the cinema, a massage, a long soak in the bath or even a hobby.
Tip #4 – Take your breaks
For many workplaces, especially retail, it’s the busiest time of year. You have more customers to handle each day, however you don’t have any more hours to magic up. This leads to people not taking their breaks or working overtime.
Over a period of time, this will soon start effecting your mental wellbeing in a negative way. Your mind needs to switch off from work and can’t work eight hours, fully focused on work. Not only do you become less productive, but it also could lead to you mentally being affected.
Therefore, TAKE YOUR BREAK. Even if you split it up into 15-minute breaks instead of having 30 minutes or an hour. However, when you do take your break, don’t think or talk work. Pick up a book, have a walk around or listen to some music or podcast.
Tip #5 – Go a step further in giving
Whenever we’re teaching a course on mental health or mental wellbeing, we always talk about giving to others. It doesn’t have to be anything physical; it could be a simple smile. Why not go a step further this Christmas and give in a way which will make someone else’s Christmas better?
Just some ideas for you could be:
- Visit your local care home with some mince pies or with the children to play games with.
- Give to charities such as Hallam FM’s Mission for Christmas.
- Take food to your local food bank.
- Declutter your house and don’t throw away items, donate them to your local charity shop.
If you’re a parent, have your children get involved and show them the art of giving at Christmas. This will no doubt give you that feel good feeling inside of you.
There are lot’s more you can do to ease the pressure off yourself and others mentally this Christmas. Remember to be safe, not just physically but mentally as well.
If you would like to find out more about our mental health courses to increase your knowledge, call us on 01226 491432 or check our latest open courses schedule.
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