How to look after yourself over Christmas

Of course, Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. But for some, the forced jollity of Christmas can be a real source of strain. Perhaps you want to join in, but just don’t have the energy to pretend?Everywhere you look at this time of year, you’ll find reasons to be cheerful – but, if you’re not feeling it, it can get too much.

You’re not alone if you don’t enjoy the run-up to Christmas. For some, Christmas means hours in the kitchen, serving guests and trying to make everyone (apart from yourself) happy. For others, the season can feel lonely, depressing, and a cause of significant anxiety.

Self-care at Christmas is essential, especially when you feel that your mental health is at risk.

This week SupportRoom give their top tips for self-care during the Christmas period. So, grab yourself a soothing, warm drink, and have a little read.

Get the Heart Rate Up to Lift Your Spirits

If you feel like locking yourself away, try taking a step into the unknown: leave the house for a long walk or (if you’re feeling energetic) go for a run. If the weather’s terrible and you can’t face going outside, try an online fitness class or stick some music on loud and dance around your living room.

There are so many online options for free exercise classes these days that you’re spoilt for choice. Choose something that fits your energy levels from gentle Yoga or Pilates to a full HIIT workout.

Exercise lifts your spirits, and it doesn’t have to be boring.

Decorate your Office Space

You might be working from home right now, and you’re probably missing the usual office chatter (or maybe you’re enjoying the break from it). Working from home can feel a little dull, so try shaking things up. Organise a team Zoom quiz for a lunch hour or put some time aside for virtual office drinks.

Decorate your office space with glittering baubles and tinsel, and string up some lights. It's the little things that can really brighten a room!

Don’t Over-Indulge

OK; this sounds a little miserable, but stick with us, here. Christmas time is a feast festival – the celebration revolves around a huge meal, and we often allow ourselves to overdo the boose, treats and late nights.

It’s tempting to over-indulge but try to be mindful of your alcohol intake. Alcohol can be a major contributor to anxiety, stress and depression, and can have a damaging impact on your mental wellbeing.

Of course, indulge a little; we’re enjoying ourselves after all.

Limit Your Social Media

You might have some extra time off over Christmas, and you probably just want to slob out and kickback.

Enjoy your favourite Christmas movies, listen to Christmassy music, watch box sets, and read that book you’ve meant to read for months. Do things that make you feel good. Avoid getting into arguments on social media. Avoid staring at that little screen in your pocket for too long.

Social media keeps us in contact with one another, but unlimited hours spent engaging in other people’s lives makes you depressed and can worsen your mental health.

Practice a little gratitude

Gratitude meditation is a recognised approach to raising your spirits. It’s a practice that asks you to focus on the things in life that bring you good energy and positive feelings of wellbeing.

If you feel like you spend a lot of time angry and upset by the actions of other people, spend a little time focusing on your blessings.

There are lots of online gratitude meditation opportunities online. It's great to do before you get out of bed in the morning, and an excellent way to turn your focus towards the things in life that make life worth living.

The main top tip for self care for this Christmas, fill your thoughts with abundance.

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