Phew, you’ve nearly done all your Christmas shopping and the big day is just around the corner! However, stress levels at Christmas can reach an all-time high. Entertaining, late nights and unhealthy eating can all contribute to feeling, well, just a bit “meh”. This means that it’s even more important to look after your mental well-being at this time of year and make sure you’re checking in with yourself. If you’re around the right people, taking care of yourself should never seem like a chore. So, keep reading to see how you can make your well-being a priority.
- Get outside – Spending time in nature is something we probably are all guilt of not doing enough, which is surpruising considering the benefits that we can gain from going outside. A lot of people recommend listening to music or a podcast, which can both be really helpful ways to unwind. However, once in a while, it can be really effective to just take the time to listen to the sounds around you and absorb your environment. As you walk make a note of what natural sounds you can hear. Maybe birds chirping, a stream running or a fountain splashing, maybe even some leaves crunching beneath your feet. Try and soak up nature on your walk and absorb your surroundings. Using something like this sensory sheet to see what you can hear/see on the walk is great for both adults and children alike to help you relax whilst keeping your mind busy.
- Make time for a mindful hobby – There is nothing more important than making time to do something mindful for yourself. At a busy time like Christmas, this is essential! A mindfulness hobby can include anything that makes you feel present and aware of your body and surroundings. These could be things such as meditation, yoga and colouring, to name a few. Really, a mindfulness hobby can be anything that makes you feel calm and in tune with yourself. You could even give your mindfulness activities a festive spin-off!
- Take time for yourself – A time of year that is supposed to be filled with joy can sometimes make you feel stretched, both mentally and physically. And that’s totally okay! Having family around this time of year is such a blessing and is something to be so grateful for, however socialising every day, maybe even hosting, can take its toll on your social battery, so taking time to recharge is essential. You should never feel bad for needing time away and wanting to spend time with yourself to unwind. One great way to do this is to write down your thoughts in a journal, or run yourself a bubble bath or even try some mindfulness puzzles for adults. Grabbing your favourite book and taking time to be with your own thoughts can help you to feel refreshed and ready for another day of Christmas activities!
- Stay Organised – One of the most overwhelming things about Christmas is the sheer amount of things to do. One of the least helpful things you can do is keep all of this stuff buzzing round your head instead of writing it down. This means that keeping lists at this time of year is more important than usual. Writing down Christmas presents still to get, a list of Christmas food you need to buy or even creating a budget list of how much money you have left to spend, can all be really helpful ways to reduce that guaranteed stress at this time of year.
- Make time for sleep – Especially if you have young children, sleep at christmas time is not the top of the priority list. Early mornings, late nights and christmas pudding are more exciting! However, sleep is critical in making sure we can recharge, function and enjoy the festive period. A lack of sleep can lead to irritability and not feeling like yourself. A great way to see how many “zz’s” you’re getting, is to keep a sleep diary and keep track of how much rest you are getting. If you’re struggling to find some time to sleep, try making sure you prioritise early nights where you can. We understand that can be hard with young children especially on nights like Christmas Eve, but see if you can keep to a sleep routine for you and your children after the initial excitement dies down.