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How to look after your mental health this Christmas

While you may be conscious of looking after your physical health this Christmas with all of the food, drinking and other festivities you will probably be enjoying, you may forget to look after your mental health.

There’s lots of changes in emotions you might experience around Christmas time – you may feel obliged to attend social events or feel like you have committed to too many plans that you’re struggling to keep up with. You may feel lonely and isolated if you’re spending a lot of time on your own or you may just be affected by the disruption to your usual daily routine.

The Mental Health Foundation understands that these feelings matter and recognises the importance of looking after your mental health, particularly around this time of year, so staff have put together their favourite tips:

Reframing – How can you be your own friend this Christmas?

  • Try not to be a critic of yourself
  • Make your Christmas the way you want it to be
  • Think of Christmas day as your rest day

Boundaries – What is your agenda this Christmas?

  • Make clear boundaries with the people around you
  • Balance your sense of social obligations against your need for self-care
  • Remember you’re allowed to say ‘no’ to things

Planning – What do you want to do this Christmas?

  • Prioritise and tackle things one at a time
  • Be mindful of how your routine is about to change
  • If Christmas with your family can be tough, plan something to look forward to with your ‘chosen family’ (such as friends and neighbours) for afterwards

Actions – What self-care and day to day activities can you keep doing?

  • Find time for yourself e.g. take a long bath or set aside five minutes to yourself
  • Keep up with your self-care routine such as sleeping well and exercising
  • Meditate

If you want someone to talk to about your mental health, call Samaritans on 116 123 for free. Samaritans will be open every day over the festive period.

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