The Christmas season is now upon us, which means colder, shorter days, longer nights and busier shops. Despite the seasonal cheer, over a quarter of Brits report a worsening of their mental health at this time of year.
There are many reasons for this, including the financial strain from gifts as well as the social pressure to attend Christmas parties and visit friends and family. So what are some ways to remain cool, calm and collected during the festive period?
If you have a large family or friend group, make sure that you plan nights out and parties with time in advance. This gives you plenty of notice to prepare for any events without feeling rushed.
The same goes for food. Preparing your cupboards, fridge, freezer, oven and stove for any Christmas cooking will make the preparation and storage of food much smoother.
Manage your budget
Creating a budget for Christmas gifts and for other festive spending, such as food, drink and travel, is a good way to reduce financial stress. Another idea is to shop when retailers are offering sales, such as on Black Friday.
Exploring financing options can also be a viable way to purchase gifts for friends and family. There are so many different options available and you can find one that fits your needs, for instance loans for those who have bad credit.
Take some time for yourself
It’s easy to get wrapped up in giving yourself to other people, especially during the festive season. You may feel the extra pressure to visit or help friends and family, which can sometimes be exhausting both mentally and physically.
Remembering to take some time to unwind and to relax is important, as prolonged stress can cause you to feel overwhelmed, irritable, and anxious.
Finding a quiet space to read a book or practising relaxation techniques is an effective way to manage the pressure.
Some would argue that the best thing about Christmas is the food. We are surrounded by tasty treats, party nibbles and boozy beverages – but junk food can have a detrimental affect on our mood and stress levels.
Of course, the occasional treat is perfectly fine. However, being mindful of what you eat is a good way to support your mental health.
These are just a few ideas to help reduce your stress this Christmas period. Remember to lean on friends and family for support and ask them for help if you need it.