Christmas is a time of celebration, but it is also one of the most stressful times of the year. Whether you're in charge of the festive lunch or just trying to get along with the extended family, it's easy to let your Christmas spirit drop when stress hits.
Stress is a common part of everyday life, and everyone copes with it differently. Stress can have negative impacts on your mental health, so it's important to look after yourself over the holiday season. We've put together some handy tips to help you get through any stressful situation over the holidays.
There's nothing worse than a family feud, and sometimes they start simply from being in a high-stress situation. Try having balanced expectations about the holiday season, identifying situations that make you stressed and one or two ways to manage these. If cooking the Christmas lunch increases your stress levels, prep the meals a few days earlier to reduce stress on Christmas Day.
Take time for yourself
Between trying to finish the Christmas shopping, to cooking and entertaining the family or the kids – it's common to feel overwhelmed and stressed. By proactively taking time out for yourself, you can work out your priorities, take a break and relieve those feelings.
Reduce your alcohol intake
It's easy to feel like a few drinks will reduce your stress levels, but often it can do the opposite for your physical and mental health. That doesn't mean you need to eliminate it altogether, it is Christmas after all! Consider moderating your alcohol intake, or trying a low-alcohol beverage.
Make time for exercise
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and release mood-enhancing endorphins. Over Christmas, it's often a time when healthy eating and exercise are overlooked, so by keeping it at the top of your mind you get the benefit of helping your physical and mental health.
Lend a helping hand
Amongst the presents, food and family time, we can sometimes forget that some are not as fortunate as others. Performing five kind acts a week has been shown to give a boost of your psychological wellbeing. So not only does it improve your wellbeing, but it also helps others in need. Try volunteering or collecting donations over the holiday season to help out where you can.
Take care this Christmas
It’s important to take care of yourself all year round, but especially at Christmas. Our nib foundation partner, the Black Dog Institute has a range of self-help tools and useful information to help over the holiday season.