How to put your mental health first this Christmas

Lots of us feel overwhelmed at Christmas. Along with changing your routine and inevitably spending more time around the family, it can be easy to start comparing your experiences too. From the amount of money that you spend on gifts to your lifestyle and family relationships, every detail seems to count.

Figures from a survey published by YouGov found that a quarter of people admit to feeling depressed in December, while anxiety affects three in ten. Additionally, at least a third of all unemployed or divorced people feel low around Christmas time.

During the holidays, it’s more important than ever to prioritise your wellbeing. No matter your plans this year, it’s always worth knowing about a few things you can do to beat the blues.

 

How to protect your wellbeing this Christmas

  1. Avoid making comparisons

Comparisons will steal your own joy, especially near Christmas time. It’s important to remember that any content shared on social media is just a highlights reel. Most people only choose to share the good days, photogenic views, and happy times.

Don’t forget that anyone who seems to have a ‘perfect’ life on social media most likely has bad days and other things going on behind the scenes too. To protect your own mental health, try to stay off social media as much as you can.

It’s important to know that each family’s festive experience will be different. Picture-perfect Instagram posts are just an illusion, and only reflect what people ‘want’ the world to see.

 

  1. Create a cosy atmosphere

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the festive season always comes together with lower temperatures and reduced daylight hours. Darker mornings and evenings can make it hard to cope with winter, especially for those prone to seasonal affective disorder.

There’s evidence to suggest that lighting can help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal depression. Consider investing in a SAD lamp, taking supplements, or getting some winter sun wherever possible to boost your body’s vitamin D intake.

Atmospheric string lights help your house to feel warmer and more welcoming, while LED outdoor Christmas decorations could help you look forward to the upcoming festivities.

 

  1. Spend money sensibly

This Christmas, it’s important to budget carefully and avoid spending any money you don’t have. Even though it can be tempting to ‘match’ the gifts given to you by your loved ones, careless spending now could lead to an incredibly stressful new year.

According to a poll for the BBC, a third of people who used credit during Christmas 2022 weren’t confident about their ability to pay back their debts. At least eight in ten were worried about rising living costs, particularly in the wake of excessive Christmas spending.

 

  1. Remember to rest

Catching up with all your closest friends and attending social gatherings takes up a lot of time over Christmas, so it’s crucial to take some time out. Make sure you give yourself time to rest and recharge, which could prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.

Luckily, there are so many ways to rest over the holidays. Whether you’d prefer active rest through something like a dog walk, or simply to put your feet up and watch a movie on a rainy afternoon, the choice is yours.

 

  1. Avoid feeling pressured

Lastly, whether it’s spending money on lavish gifts, drinking mulled wine, or tucking into the Christmas cheese, you should never feel pressured to join in with the culture of over-indulgence that’s frequently associated with the festive season.

Joining in with your favourite seasonal activities can be a fantastic way to kick back and relax. Just always remember that the things you do should be your choice entirely. If you’re not comfortable with a certain situation or you’d rather stay at home, there’s no shame in missing out.

 

 

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4246 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.