While there are still weeks to go before the Christmas holiday, the Christmas fever is already taking over cities and towns across the UK. Decorated trees, Christmas cards, and empty bottles of spirit – it’s a familiar scene to anyone who has been around this time of year.
The festive season is an exciting time of the year, but it’s also a very stressful time. Strict social distancing rules, the threat of closed shops, and packed public transport mean that many shops and supermarkets will be struggling to keep up with the huge demand for festive seasonal goods.
With the country in disarray due to the pandemic, life feels unpredictable and stressful. It’s imperative that we keep our mental wellbeing in check, so we can get through these next few months intact. This is especially important if we’re going to make it to the other side of this horrible pandemic healthwise. So how can we help our mental health and that of our loved ones during this time of year?
There are a number of ways we can all help to maintain our mental health during these challenging times. Here are Just some of them….
Maintain Social Distancing
For those of us fortunate enough to still have jobs, one of the ways we can maintain our mental wellbeing is by staying healthy. Exercise, nutrition, and self-care are all crucial in protecting our health and in staying productive. This is especially important in the lead up to Christmas and the new year, as maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep will help us to ward off any unwanted illnesses. There are also a host of mental health issues that are linked to loneliness and social isolation, so we should all be doing our best to stay connected to our families and friends.
Create Positive Mental Weather
Mental health is intrinsically linked to our physical wellbeing. If we’re not feeling strong and happy, it’s very difficult to keep our mental health intact, as we’ll be more likely to experience depression and anxiety. One of the best ways we can maintain our mental health is by creating a happy and positive environment around us. We all love a good moan, but constant negative thoughts are draining. Instead of focusing on the negatives, we should all be choosing to focus on the positives. This doesn’t mean that we have to be overly dramatic or idealistic, but it does mean that we should be aware of how we’re feeling and make changes where necessary.
Don’t Forget To Pamper Yourself
Pampering ourselves is important, even when we’re not feeling well. Going back to our physical wellbeing, we know that exercise and nutrition can help to improve our mood, so it goes without saying that spending time on our hobbies and taking time out for meals and entertainment can also help to improve our mental health. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves this Christmas is the opportunity to indulge ourselves. Whether that be through buying presents for ourselves or getting a massage, we need to make sure that we’re taking care of our mental health as well.
Create A Supportive Network
Just as with our physical wellbeing, our mental health is improved by having supportive relationships. We all love a good bit of banter and some extra banter to make us laugh is undoubtedly healthy, however, having a confidante we can trust, who we feel comfortable enough to be open with, is also crucial in maintaining our mental health. It’s not just about getting the best friend status on Facebook, we need someone whom we can talk to, about anything, and who will be there for us. The support we get from our friends and family is invaluable, but so is the support we get from those who we don’t know personally. Having people we can trust, who don’t have any kind of vested interest in our well-being, is important in keeping our minds clear. If we want to make this holiday and the new year special, we need to make sure that we’re surrounded by people who will help to cheer us up when we’re down and empathise with us when we’re feeling stressed. Who better to have around than our friends and family, but it’s also important that we have people we can talk to, who have stayed healthy and positive during these challenging times.
Take Care Of Your Home Affairs
One of the best things we can all do for our mental health is take care of our home affairs. Maintaining a clean home is important for our physical wellbeing, so it makes sense that taking care of our surroundings can also improve our mental health. Little things like keeping our homes clean, smelling nice, and having plants and art around can all help to make a positive difference. It’s not just about decorating the house with candles, plants, and ornaments, but it’s about making sure that our surroundings are comfortable and relaxing. Ensuring that our home is a place we can be comfortable in, means that we will feel more confident and able to focus on other things. Therefore, taking care of our home affairs can also help to improve our mental health. It’s a small thing, but it makes a massive difference when we can all make our homes a little spot of calm during these challenging times.
Avoid Bad Habits
Bad habits such as overeating, drinking, and smoking are all directly linked to physical illness. These are all habits that will make us feel worse, not better. So, in addition to taking care of our home affairs, we should also be trying to avoid all bad habits as much as possible. Cutting out those that aren’t beneficial to our health is the key to keeping our minds clear. In these difficult times, it’s easy for our minds to slip into poor health mode, focusing on everything that’s making us sick. These bad habits, alongside stress, can all contribute to making us feel weaker and more susceptible to illnesses. Instead of making us feel better, they’re doing the complete opposite. Cut out the bad habits that aren’t good for you and you’ll start to feel a significant difference in your mental wellbeing. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s something that’s worth trying.
Know Your Limitations
Our limitations, both physical and mental, are something we should all be considering. We should all be aware of our health status and how we experience the world around us. If we want to make this holiday and the year special, it’s important that we don’t make any big plans. In order to do that, we need to firstly know our limits and what we’re capable of. There are certain tasks that we know we’re not physically prepared to do, whether that be due to age or health limitations. For example, scrubbing toilets or carrying heavy items. Knowing your limitations and what you’re capable of will help you to make the most of any situation. It could be that due to your health limitations, you should be reserving certain tasks for when you’re feeling stronger. Small things like taking a stroll or ordering a pizza will be easy for you and help to boost your mood. In turn, this will help to improve your mental health.
It may seem obvious, yet many of us still struggle to make the most of this time. How can we make the most of this last bit of freedom? How can we use this time to reconnect with loved ones and catch up on all that has happened in their lives? How can we create the happiest Christmas and New Year ever?
It’s a tricky time of the year, but we’re all in this together, so let’s all try to make the most of it. With a little bit of planning and preparation, we can make sure that this time passes as quickly as possible and that we can all look forward to a better future. So until next time, keep your head up and your spirits high.