It’s no secret that Christmas can be a stressful time, which is why it’s important to look after your wellbeing over the festive period.
There’s often pressure to have a perfect Christmas. However, your own mental health should take priority.
Here are our tips on how to prevent stress while having a merry Yuletide.
Don’t put pressure on yourself
There often the expectation that we need to have the perfect Christmas – surrounded by picture-perfect decorations, masses of presents under the tree and an expertly-cooked dinner.
However, this is often the stuff of tv shows and films. Don’t feel you need to spend too much money to make fantasies a reality, or keep up with others on social media. That’s a carefully curated version of events that, in most cases, doesn’t actually exist.
Exercise – even a small amount – can help reduce stress levels. This is true at any time of year, but in the cold winter months it can be tempting to give it a miss altogether.
Even just going out for a post-Christmas dinner walk can make us feel better.
Take your time
Try to plan ahead. If you’re hosting, organise everything you need in advance so avoid the last minute supermarket rush. Any online orders may take time too!
Don’t be afraid to take a break from it all, both during the build-up and on Christmas Day itself. If there are any events planned, you’re under no obligation to attend.
Watch what you eat
It’s easy to overindulge over the Christmas period when chocolate, mince pies and other treats are easily found. Alcohol can also flow freely, so be mindful about the effect it can have on your mood.
Avoid low energy by maintaining a balanced diet and drinking in moderation.
Talk if you need to
It can be hard to confide in others if you’re feeling stressed or anxious at a time of year where we’re meant to feel ‘jolly’.
However, most people will want to listen. Don’t feel you need to bottle things up.
For further advice on dealing with stress, our Coping with Stress eLearning course contains practical advice and techniques that will come in useful.
Take care and Merry Christmas,