There’s always lots on our minds during the festive season in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. Sometimes we can benefit from support and advice that can help us look after ourselves so that we can have a more enjoyable festive season.
Our mental health advent calendar includes a daily tip or information you can use to help your mental wellbeing this festive season.
Do you want to have a relaxed Christmas? Do you want to keep up to date with friends and family? Do you want to be busy?
Knowing how you feel now, and how you want to feel, can help you prioritise the things you have to do over the next few weeks and give you reasons to do more of what helps or say no to things that aren't helping.
Arrange a call, send a card or email someone you've missed connecting with. Keeping in touch with other people can help us by lowering anxiety and depression, lead to higher self-esteem and empathy, and it can help us regulate our emotions.
Watch our webinar recording, all about issues that can affect how people feel during the festive season, and how Able Futures can provide support now and for nine months to help us cope at any time of the year.
When you first wake up, have a few minutes to yourself to sit and reflect during the day, or before you go to sleep, try writing your feelings down in a journal as a way to remind yourself of the emotions you are experiencing and the things that may be triggering these feelings.
Sometimes what we choose to eat and drink is not as healthy as we would like it to be, and this means our brains and bodies do not have the vitamins and minerals they need to work at their best. We can feel sluggish or low, find it difficult to get good sleep, struggle to learn new skills and feel down about ourselves.
Doing something new shows your brain that things can be different and this can help you feel able to reset thinking patterns that may be making us feel bad. Try something new like walking a different way home from work, or book yourself onto a online class to do some crafting or cooking or choose whatever suits you.
Make a date in the diary and schedule some time for you this Christmas. Whether it's a regular daily time to take a break to have a cuppa and spend a few minutes thinking about things that are important to you or a full afternoon to take time away from work or family or chores to spend time doing something you've been wanting to do for ages, scheduling time for yourself this festive season is a good way to ensure you're able to focus on what's important to you and therefore be able to manage the rest of your time in a way that delivers the Christmas you want.
Sleep is as essential to our bodies and our brains as eating, drinking and breathing. We can all experience issues getting a good night's sleep and struggle to feel well if we have sleep problems. Our mental health can be affected if we don't get the sleep we need, and mental health problems can sometimes make it more difficult to get good sleep.
The festive season can feel overwhelming with too much to do. It's OK to say no to somethings. Today, look through the things you've been invited to or activities you've been asked to do before the end of the year, and on days that seem too much, say no to something. The people around you will understand if you explain that you need to balance your energy and attention across the Christmas period and you will more able to focus on the other things you have organised.
How you breathe when you are relaxed or excited plays a part in how you're feeling. So when you're feeling stressed or anxious or worried try focusing on your breath and using a technique to monitor how you're taking air in and out so that you can feel calmer and more able to cope.
Throughout this month's festive feelings advent calendar, we've shared tips you could use to learn more about how to look after your mental health. Knowing how you're feeling and what you want to feel for the rest of the year will help you take the actions you need to support your wellbeing.