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Top Tips for Looking After your Mental Health this Christmas

For many of us, Christmas can be a challenging time. According to findings from the national Mind charity, one in ten people find themselves struggling to cope at Christmas time, and this number rises to a third of people for those of us living with mental ill health.

If you find Christmas a difficult time of year, here are some practical tips to help navigate the festive season more comfortably:

 

Plan Ahead:

If your Christmas involves being in an unfamiliar environment, consider what might help you feel more at ease. Prepare by packing items that bring comfort, anticipate potential difficult conversations by having responses ready, and jot down essential services’ Christmas opening hours. Ensure you have prescribed medications needed, as some pharmacy’s will operate reduced opening hours over the festive period.

Stay Active:

Amidst the disruptions to routine, try incorporating gentle activities into your schedule. Whether it’s a stroll in the park, a gentle stretch, or engaging in holiday-themed games, staying active can alleviate anxiety, uplift mood, and boost energy levels.

Prioritise Sleep:

A good sleep routine plays a pivotal role in our wellbeing. Maintain a regular sleep pattern (especially after busy periods), wind down by avoiding screen time an hour before bed, and give yourself the space and time to rest. This will help prevent irritability or low energy.

Eat and drink well:

Christmas is typically a time of overindulgence, but what we eat and drink can sometimes impact on how we feel. For example, too much sugar can have a noticeable effect on your mental health and wellbeing in the short and long term. And while it’s great to catch up with friends or colleagues in the pub, alcohol can sometimes lead to negative feelings, such as anger, depression or anxiety.

Seek support

If you’re struggling this Christmas, you may want to find support for your mental health. There are a few ways that you can do this:

Call Samaritans on 116 123 (freephone).  

Text SHOUT to 85258. This is a free 24/7 crisis text service run by Shout.

Visit national Mind’s useful contacts page for a list of organisations who can support your mental health or help with practical problems. 

 

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