How to Protect Your Mental Well-Being at Christmas

In a perfect world, Christmas is full of love, warmth and happiness. However, the holidays are  usually full of stress, exhaustion and pressure...

Many people already live stressful lives and the additional pressures of the holiday season don’t do much to help. 

Here are some simple tips that can help you keep your mental well-being intact during the holidays.

1. It's a family affair

Make sure you set limits from the beginning. Instead of trying to visit all the relatives during the holidays, limit who you see. Apologise in advance and save yourself long trips. You can visit them at any other time of the year. This applies to all aspects of holiday planning: be realistic. Not even a superhero could plan the office party, a family party and the school Christmas play, cook Christmas Eve dinner, buy gifts for everyone and keep smiling. Just writing it down is tiring. Don't be afraid to say "no" to some people.

2. Planning expenditure

It is very difficult to avoid spending too much money during the holidays: gifts, food, drink, outings, guests, more food, more gifts; the amount rises quickly. While many people know they are likely to overspend during the holiday period, very few make reasonable plans ahead of time. We advise you to establish a reasonable budget.

3. Beware of calories but don't overdo it

There is no point in trying to follow a healthy diet throughout the holiday period. You don't have to be so strict. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to eat healthy during the holidays, but moderation is the most important thing.

4. Keep exercising

Exercise routines also tend to go on vacation themselves. We all have to take our foot off the accelerator sometime during the year and slow down but remember that exercise is an excellent way to sharpen the mind and improve mood. If you can, go out to nature; it has been shown to increase self-esteem and improve mood.

5. Fight loneliness

Not everyone has a full calendar of holiday activities. For some people, it can be a time of solitude and social isolation. To overcome this, planning is necessary. There are many things we can do; it's just a matter of looking around and submerging. Join a group, start a new hobby, or better yet, volunteer for a local charity. Starting new traditions can be a useful way to turn this into something positive.

6. Manage your expectations

When we daydream about the holiday season, we could imagine a harmonious, well-dressed and cheerful family sitting at a beautiful oak table, a huge Christmas tree and a fireplace. That, unfortunately, is unlikely to match reality.

Before the celebrations begin, be realistic (again, yes). Our mental well-being can suffer a setback if reality does not coincide with our preconceived ideas. However, if we have realistic expectations, we are much more likely to be happy with the results.

We don't live in a movie; we live in the real world, a disorderly and unpredictable world.

Happy holidays!

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