How To Look After Your Mental Health During This Festive Period
This Christmas will not be a normal Christmas. Usually, the festive period is filled with attending work parties and spending time with friends and family. However, this year has been very different to other years with most of our time spent indoors; something many hoped wouldn’t be the case for the festive period. With many of us not able to celebrate Christmas the way we would like to, and for some of us this being a lonely time, it’s very important that we all take steps to look after ourselves.
Uncertainty and isolation can have an impact on our mental health, especially if this is happening during a time that we would otherwise be greatly looking forward to. There are various things that you can do during this festive period to look after your mental health and enhance your selfcare if you find you are being impacted.
Talk About Your Feelings
One of the best things during any time of challenge, difficulty or struggle is to talk about your feelings. Talking not only helps maintain good mental health but it’s also a fantastic way to deal and cope with things.*
Have you ever noticed how much lighter you feel once you’ve got something off your chest or shared your feelings with someone? Talking about how you feel with friends and family can really help you deal with the current situation and take a big weight off you. Talking about your feelings also helps you to become more self-aware too. What’s more is that you may even find that they’ve been feeling exactly the same way and by talking about it you can learn from each other on what to do when dealing with these feelings. Whilst we can’t be with our friends and family this year, Zoom, Skype or picking up the phone are great ways to keep in touch with each other. This is especially important if you find yourself feeling lonely, so reach out and ask them how they’re dealing with things. As it is often said a problem shared, is a problem halved.
Keeping active is another great way to look after yourself. Usually it’s the new year that we’ll think of getting active after the festive period. However, this year keeping active during the festive period could really help with maintaining good mental health.
There are various benefits that being active can have for us from our brains releasing hormones and chemicals that make us feel great to boosting our self-esteem, concentration, along with improving the quality of our sleep. By exercising regularly, even if that’s 30 minutes of exercise a day, it can really help you feel better. If you’re still working over the festive period even moving your legs and arms whilst sat down could help.
Eating well can also really support you with looking after your mental health, in fact food can have a long-lasting effect on your mental health. If we find ourselves eating junk food or foods rich in sugars and fat, after sometime we’ll also notice our bodies feel heavier too. A good diet full of meals rich in wholegrains, nuts, fish, fruits and vegetables can help to boost your mood along with your immune system.
Challenge Negative Thinking
When we feel down and low it can be easy for negative thoughts to creep in. When this happens think about how you dealt with difficult times in the past and most importantly challenge this negative thinking, asking yourself the question on how thinking like that will benefit you. Also, it’s important that we try to distance ourselves from our feelings and instead of thinking ‘I feel sad’ instead think ‘I notice I am feeling sad’. By doing this gives you the awareness to recognise that feelings can be changed and you are in control of how you feel.
Stay focused on the Present
Lastly, during times of uncertainty and challenge, we can often think ahead and worry about what the future holds, and when this happens we can end up going through a cycle of overthinking or thinking the same thoughts over and over again.
A key way to get past this and to maintain good mental health is to be more mindful and ‘present’. If you find your emotions and thoughts going out of control, take a moment to practise slow breathing or noticing what is around you (i.e. practice “mindfulness”). Once you’ve become more aware of the present moment do something that will benefit you, maybe this could be getting involved with online activities, watching something you will enjoy, or doing something for your own personal development.
If during this year you have found yourself being impacted by situations out of your control and you would like to transform your current life or career in 2021, then life or career coaching could be for you.
At Inher Potential my coaching has supported women across the world with making meaningful changes in their lives and careers. Find out more aboutlife coaching for women or career coaching for women and how this could benefit you.