When we think of the holiday season, our mind automatically drifts to good food, good wine and good company – not to mention good fun! We have plans to make sure we still fit into that little black dress for the work Christmas party, despite all the eating and drinking, keeping an ever-watchful eye on our physical health. We have even stocked up on that Apple Cider Vinegar to make sure no unwanted bloating comes our way. But what about our mental health? What are we doing to ensure our mind keeps it together and flourish in the midst of our busy schedule? While everything may look merry, cheerful and bright on the outside, we need to check in with ourselves and make sure we feel that way on the inside too.
Here are some tips to help prepare yourself mentally for the silly season.
Tips For Your Mental Health
The silly season is just that. With so much going on around us and so much pressure to be happy (it’s Christmas after all – aren’t we meant to be happy?), you may find your mental health suffers. You can barely find five minutes to reply to a text from your Mum, let alone to check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing ok. Just because it’s the happy season, don’t feel forced into joy, peace and happiness. Pushing away any feelings you might be having, will only make it worse. Instead, try these tips to prepare for the season and keep your mental health in check.
- Meditation: OK, so I just said you don’t have time to text your mum, you’re now asking how you will fit meditation in. Good question! Thankfully, meditation can be done in as little as five minutes. Let that text to your mum sit there a little longer and instead focus on some harmony and self-realisation. There are so many benefits that come with practising meditation, such as improved self-esteems, lower levels of stress, better focus and concentration and much more. You can simply start out by trying it for one minute in the morning while you are getting ready for work. You can slowly increase the time as you get more comfortable with it.
- Plan your time: Christmas is a time for celebrating, and before long all the Christmas parties and events will be rolling in. As you add each one to the diary, make sure you are also adding some downtime to yourself. If you end up with a weekend of back-to-back events, consider which ones you can pass up. While it would be great to be everywhere at once, it just isn’t possible. Sometimes we have to just say no. While parties are lots of fun, they can also be mentally draining. If you aren’t giving your body some downtime, then it will all catch up with you.
- Recognise your emotions: instead of pushing your thoughts and feelings away and popping on a happy face, let them in. In the lead up to the holidays, think about your own personal triggers. What makes you upset, sad, angry, annoyed? When we see so many people over the festive season, it can bring up a lot of these feelings, and we end up pushing them aside and dismissing them. This won’t help you mentally. Instead, note these feelings and validate them. Tell yourself it’s OK to feel this way and take some time to process them. No one can be happy all the time.
- Factor in sleep and healthy eating: believe it or not, sleep deprivation can affect your mood dramatically. Late nights and unhealthier than usual foods are a recipe for disaster. Stay a week or two ahead. Look at your schedule, factor in some healthy meals and quiet nights at home where you can catch up on sleep. Think of it as a chance to recharge your batteries, ready to go again.
One way to ensure your mental health is fighting fit is to plan a little pampering across the holiday season. It’s the perfect excuse to take a little time out and check in with yourself.
Treat yourself to a face mask, stock up on some relaxing tea for some planned downtime, and treat yourself to some body butter. You may even be able to convince someone for a massage. And if you need a little help to unwind and get that much-needed rest, then check out the Sleep Team. The lotion, oil spray and bath flakes are all designed to promote sleep to help your body relax when you need it most.
At the end of the day, you need to put yourself first. Listen to your body, but also listen to your mind. Make sure you are looking after both, and most of all, enjoy yourself!