Tips for Minding Your Mental Health this Christmas

With Christmas just one week away we wanted to reach out to you from Donegal Mind Wellness and give you some tips for minding your mental health over the festive season.

  1. Temptation is everywhere this time of year from food to alcohol to overspending. Remember these pleasures are all short term. Be mindful, slow down, drink less, spend less and remember nutrition can significantly impact your mental health. A healthy body is a healthy mind.
  2. Stay active, get outdoors, go for a winter walk and keep the immune strong. If the weather is too bad then Youtube a home exercise video and keep moving.
  3. For some of us Christmas is a lonely time of year, perhaps you are dealing with grief or like a lot of homes, family life just isn’t a bed of roses. Solitude isn’t the answer get outdoors, attend the local events happening in your area or engage with local charities to volunteer and help others in need. Pop into your local family resource center before they close and find out what is happening in your area.
  4. Perhaps uncomfortable interactions are unavoidable; however we can always chose how we respond to situations in our lives and sometimes saying the least and killing them with kindness works best. We can’t change others but we can change how we see them or respond to them. Have compassion that we are all individuals on our own journeys and try accepting others as they are without judgement.
  5. Maybe you are running around last minute shopping, while getting the kids ready for their school plays and stressing over dinner. SLOW DOWN!! Take a moment to yourself; find a quiet space and listen to a meditation or read a book. Go for a walk alone and just breath. We are better able to give when we take time to look after ourselves, self care is smart not selfish. Don’t get caught up in the rush go at a pace that is right for you.
  6. As we approach 2020 thankfully we are in a generation that is growing more and more aware of mental health issues. This time of year is full of invites to parties and events and if you are struggling with anxiety or depression the thought of a noisy event is your worst nightmare right now. Having good people around you is important, connect or reconnect with family or friends and speak openly about how you are feeling. Do something low key that will make you feel better.
  7. Ask for help!! Talk to your GP before Christmas about what support they can offer you and don’t hesitate to reach out many services especially helplines are open during Christmas. Follow link for contact details. https://www.mentalhealthireland.ie/mh-services/
  8. It’s very important to get plenty of sleep!! You might find your routine a little out of sync this time of year and if we lose our sleep it affects our immune, our mood and our overall performance. You might find this guide to better sleep of some use. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-sleep-betterĀ Alternatively speak to your GP.

We hope some of these tips are helpful to you over the festive season and encourage you not to get too silly this season rather indulge in some self care, family, friends, your local community and the simple things in life. Never compare yourself to others as we don’t truly know what our individual journeys are about. Take care, be mindful and be kind. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.