As we enter the festive period, there becomes an immense amount of pressure on us to be happy and get into the Christmas spirit.
Despite Christmas being acclaimed as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, a survey from YouGov has revealed that for a quarter of people it is in fact not. 1 in 4 people in the UK have disclosed that they find Christmas difficult, and it has a negative impact on their mental health. From the financial strain that accompanies gift buying, food guilt, to the cold and darker winter nights, there are a number of factors that can worsen your mental health during Christmas.
When you are struggling, it’s important to show yourself some extra love and care, which is why we want to arm you with the best resources to look after yourself.
Eat a nutritious meal
We know that sometimes eating or cooking can seem impossible, especially when you’re not feeling great. However, eating something can help to lift your mood and energy.
There are some great minimal effort yet nutritious meals you can make when you feel zapped of energy. Some of our go-to’s include: Greek yogurt bowl with (fresh or frozen) fruit of your choice, nuts and honey (both optional), poached egg and beans on toast (a staple winter dish), scrambled eggs with (fresh or frozen) mixed vegetables, or smoothies loaded with frozen fruits, leafy greens and Greek yogurt.
Fitting in some movement, even if it is just a 10-minute walk, can help to boost your mood and energy levels. Many people find that exercise (yes, walking counts as exercise!) helps them when they’re feeling low which is likely to have something to do with the release of endorphins – the known feel-good chemical that your brain produces when you get moving.
If you’re not ready to brace the cold just yet, you can get moving from the comfort of your own home. Have a look at our Youtube here to find the workout for you.
On days where you feel like your brain will not be quiet, hush your mind with some meditation or mindfulness.
These relaxation techniques can help to improve your state of mind and ease anxiety. There are a host of free guides and advice online that can help you meditate if you’re not sure where to start.
Get help when you need it
Making the decision to seek help is a sign of strength – not a weakness.
Life can sometimes throw unexpected challenges our way, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and in need of some support. But it’s important to remember that you’re never alone in your struggles and there is help available.
As well as Samaritans, who you contact for free on 116 123 or email them on [email protected] – there are many other charities you can turn to for help this holiday season.
Mind: Call 0300 300 5468, or visit: https://www.mind.org.uk.
Papyrus: Call 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039976, or visit: https://www.papyrus-uk.org.
Shout: Text SHOUT to 85258
There are no charges to phone or text.