Four tips to stay healthy over Christmas December 05 2017, 0 Comments

How to keep mentally fit and healthy during the festive season.

Christmas is just around the corner, which means everything ramps up a notch and our health is often set aside. If this time of year stresses you out, you’re not alone, it’s called the Silly Season for a reason!

Here’s some tips to help you stay mentally fit and healthy during what can a stressful few weeks.

Give the gift of gratitude

Instead of dreading the impending festive season, do something different and embrace it.

Happy people are grateful people. Express gratitude to those that have made your year special, even if it was in a small way. Send a Christmas card with a heartfelt message. It could be to the babysitter that never let you down, or the builder that finished your renovations.

Start early to avoid stress later in the month, which will also put you in a positive mindset for the busy weeks ahead.

Volunteer at one of the many charities or homeless shelters, or give to those less fortunate.

By being grateful, you not only let someone know they are appreciated, but you open yourself to deeper connections and friendships.

Say no to holiday stress

Say no to holiday stress by prioritising what’s important to you and your family, and set reasonable expectations.

At this time of year it’s too easy to say ‘yes’ to everything, including uninvited house guests, Christmas parties and Christmas shopping (and overspending). This leaves you mentally and physically exhausted (and broke!).

Cut out the stress by focusing on what is important to you and your family. It could be simple traditions such as putting up the Christmas tree, focusing on religious observances, catching up with friends, or quality family time.

Set a budget and stick to it. Focus on your priorities and say ‘no’ to everything else. Politely decline the extra invitations and if it’s someone important to you, suggest to catch up after the Silly Season. You’ll feel less frazzled and able to embrace your true meaning of Christmas.

Beat the holiday blues

As well as stress, anxiety and feelings of overwhelm, this time of year can also trigger melancholy and depression.

Feelings of loneliness, sadness, grief or exhaustion can be the catalyst for holiday blues. With heightened expectations and all the Christmas joy around, it’s easy to assume that everyone is happy when it can be quite the contrary. Family conflicts can also have a tendency to flare up.

Watch for signs of depression with friends and family. Extend an invitation for colleagues or friends who are alone. A small gesture can have a significant impact.

If you yourself are feeling overwhelmed, isolated or lonely reach out to a neighbour, family member or community group. Don’t be afraid to accept help. Seek professional help if you need.

Look after yourself

Our physical and emotional health is tested this time of year. With so many social catch ups and festivities this month and into the next, it’s easy slip into unhealthy habits.

Prioritise your emotional health by taking time out to recharge your batteries. Enjoy a long bath with a glass of wine, sleep in, read a great book , escape for a coffee or indulge in some pampering. Do something that makes you happy.

Physical activity and healthy habits are as important during the holidays. Take time out to clear your mind by going for a walk, getting enough rest and making healthy eating choices. The key is moderation.

Meditation or breathing exercises and yoga can also help de-stress. Download an app so you can fit it in at a time that suits you.

Don’t forget that you control how you feel. Use these healthy Christmas tips to cut down the stress and ramp up the merry and bright this festive season − it will be your best yet!

Click here for more strategies on keeping mentally fit and living a life of purpose.

If you or someone you know if feeling down this festive season, please give Lifeline a call on 131114.