Christmas, if you celebrate the festive season, can be a joyful time of year, a time to catch up with friends and family and indulge in some special festive treats. However, this time of year can also be quite stressful. The impact of the pandemic on our festive celebrations caused a lot of disruption and resulted in cancelled plans and missed Christmas parties last year. This year could also see disruption to plans and decisions being made to air on the side of caution.
In order to help you to manage this festive season, reduce stress and maximise your time with friends and family, our Bristol based Practitioner, Vinny, has put together a number of videos with some tips and advice for how to manage your mental health over the Christmas break.
Video 1 – How to combat loneliness over Christmas
In this video, Vinny discusses the importance of self-care during the festive break and if you are spending time alone to make sure you focus on doing things that bring you joy and avoid the pressure to only take part in activities that are typically related to the Christmas period.
Video 2 – Managing anxiety
The hustle and bustle of the festive season can be a stressful environment for anyone, add in a pandemic and existing anxiety and the stress becomes amplified. In this video, Vinny highlights some top tips for managing anxiety during this busy time, such as: limiting alcohol intake as it can worsen anxiety symptoms, keeping active – exercise and fresh air is important to maintain a healthy social balance and has a calming effect on stress levels, downloading a breathing based app or completing breathing based exercise can help especially during acute phases of anxiety and finally, keeping in touch with friends and family is a great way to share your worries and get the support you need. There are also a number of charities such as Anxiety UK who have helplines which are open during the Christmas break for specific advice and support.
Video 3 – Lifestyle tips
Vinny’s top tips for how to support your mental health through lifestyle choices are;
- Do enjoy some indulgent food treats over the festive season, but know your limits. Vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables are known to support good mental health as well as overall health so balance the treats with lots of great seasonal vegetables and fruits to get that balance right.
- Make the most of local green spaces or make the effort to travel to some open spaces and make sure you get some fresh air or enjoy a walk to break up time indoors.
- Reach out to friends and family. Whether face-to-face, over the fence or over video chat. Maybe even reach out to old friends you haven’t heard from for a while, check in with them and you will both see the benefits.
From everyone here at Smart TMS, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!