Some Self-Care Tips
For some the holiday season brings joy and happiness, but others it raises their anxiety and distress. A whole of host of factors at this time of year can influence your wellbeing, including the pressure to make everything perfect, spending time with family members who may misunderstand mental health challenges, to worrying about the financial implications and the amount of food consumed.
Here are some tips that can help reduce the stresses.
Find time to exercise – exercise can take any form from a few chair exercises of stretching your legs, a walk round the block, yoga or going for a run. It does not have to be a lot, but it can change your mindset, reduce the tension and lower your stress levels.
Manage your expectations – the holiday season often is perceived as needing to be perfect. The perfect gifts, the perfect food and the perfect time spent with people. However nothing is perfect and sometimes if we set ourselves too high expectations, then we are often left feeling let down or have failed in some way, this can then impact on our wellbeing. Explore what will be good enough for you and try not to worry about the small things.
Connect with others – connecting with others can help us feel included, valued and cared for. A quick text, an emoji, telephone call or a walk in the park with a friend can sometimes change our perspective and may help them too.
Do something you enjoy – it is important to find time for yourself and do something you love doing. Often this time of time is very busy and there is very little time for ourselves, so taking a few moment to do something you enjoy will recharge your energy levels and lower the stress levels. A hot chocolate whilst having a warm bath, laughing at a comedy show, a creative activity, a few moments of mindfulness and noticing what you are grateful for. Prepare and plan – being prepared and plan for times that you know may be stressful over the holidays. Work out some wording (a script) to say to help manage certain situations that you think or know may arise. Have a plan about what you can do when you feel your stress level rising. For example plan to go for a walk instead of watching the television. Being prepared and having a plan will help feel more in control. It may be helpful to communicate your plan to others, so they understand and can support you.
It is important to look after yourself during this time, particularly if you are also caring for others. Find time for yourself including times to laugh, rest and play.