Christmas is typical a time of joy, laughter and cheerfulness but it can also be a trying time for many. Feeling isolated, the fatigue and pressure brought on by additional expenses may act as a trigger for all kinds of existing mental health concerns. Here are 5 tips to maintain positive mental health at Christmas.
5 Helpful tips to maintain positive mental health at Christmas
1. Take time for yourself
December can be very busy. Prioritise yourself even if it means declining a party invitation. Make a habit of doing something nice for yourself during the holiday season, as you cannot pour from an empty cup. Take a long bath, do some gardening or enjoy an afternoon nap. Studies suggest that losing sleep interferes with one’s mood. Exercise is also great for boosting mental health. Take a break from the gym and go for a 15 – 20 minute walk in your neighbourhood.
2. Practise gratitude
Trying to get everything done before the holidays can be all consuming and it is easy to forget about the true meaning of Christmas. Take a few minutes every day and name five things you are grateful for. For example, your family, pets, food, health etc. It is important to celebrate what you have and not pine over what you don’t have. Practising gratitude will have a major impact on one’s mental health at Christmas.
3. Set goal
This is the perfect time to set goals for the year ahead. “New Year’s resolutions” may sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be. Resolutions are often broken if they are too broad. Narrow your goals down walking 10 000 steps a day as oppose to losing weight. Refer back to your list throughout the year to see that you stay on track and motivated.
4. Stay in touch
Unfortunately, many people cannot be with family and friends during the holidays which can cause loneliness and other depressive symptoms. In an effort to combat loneliness, stay in touch with friends and family during the Christmas period. Check in with others by sending an email, text and message on social media. It is helpful to stay occupied by listening to a podcast, reading or even learning a new skill because busy hands, quiet mind.
5. Take the pressure off the big day
Many people feel overwhelmed at Christmas, even though it is meant to be a time of unwinding. The added pressure can be a result of planning and hosting Christmas parties, planning a vacation or family commitments. Minimise stress by delegating tasks as oppose to doing everything yourself. Ask guests to bring a dish or to help set the table. Furthermore, be kind to yourself, laugh at imperfections and take the pressure off the big day.
Kiaat Private Hospital aims to deliver exceptional healthcare in a warm and embracing environment. Our patient care philosophy is centred on our vision “Giving New Life to the Heart of the Community” that is supported by our values of honesty, integrity, excellence and quality. The staff and management of Kiaat Private Hospital wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy holidays.