Self-care throughout December

Whilst traditionally December is seen to be the most wonderful time of the year, it can for some, be an overwhelming and very difficult period. This is why it is important to take extra care of your well-being during the weeks ahead. Here are some tips to help you keep your mental health in check:

  1. Avoid unhealthy expectations. Looking at pictures or reading posts on social media of others living their best life is a sure way to leave you feeling deflated. So if the comparison game leaves you feeling down in the dumps, now is the time to do something about it. Why not update your friend list, reevaluate whose posts you see on social media and start following people or pages that motivate you and leave that feel-good feeling?
  2. Take some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes. Self-care helps prevent stress and anxiety. It is essential to take a break whether it be from family, friends, work or Christmas to make sure things don’t build up and get on top of you.
  3. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep at night so that your body has all the energy it needs. Lack of sleep will only stress the body and leave you feeling tired and unable to cope. If you have a late night, try to get a small lie in or have a nap the following day to catch up.
  4. Exercising for 10-30 minutes each day can help relieve tension and stress and at the same time, boost physical and mental energy.  Exercise also increases our body temperature which can have a calming effect and help tire the body for restful sleep.
  5. Watch your diet. There may be tempting food and drink around at this time of the year but you must stay sensible and aware of what you are eating if you don’t want your body and mind to spiral out of control. Moderation is the key. If you feel you have overindulged one day, try to have a bit of a detox for the next 24 hours sticking to ‘healthy food’. lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while limiting your intake of sugar, alcohol and fatty foods.
  6. Stay hydrated. Alcohol may ease your anxiety for a while but consuming too much and the morning after feeling are both hard prices to pay. Stick to the odd glass or even better, alcohol-free. On the other hand, drink plenty of H2O. Water makes up on average 60% of the human body and the numerous benefits of consuming it are often overlooked. It transports hormones and nutrients to their destinations, flushes bacteria from your system, aids digestion and prevents constipation, regulates body temperature, protects organs and cushions joints.
  7. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by endless things to remember or tasks to achieve, start making lists. Whether it’s the shopping you need, a ‘to do’ list, or just a ‘don’t forget’ note, put it down on paper or in a notebook. This will firstly help organise your time and more importantly, it will clear your head from clutter and give you an easy way to prioritise tasks. 
  8. Stay connected with friends and family members but make sure to be selective about who you spend time with. Positive relationships help us to feel like we have a purpose and sense of belonging.
  9. Don’t bust your budget. The temptation of overspending is stronger at this time of year than any other. The pressure of purchasing the ‘perfect gift’ or buying extravagant food and drink is thrown at us from all angles. The secret is to avoid the temptation of overspending that you will regret at a later date. When you go shopping, just take the cash you can afford and leave credit/debit cards at home. Make a list of things you need and stick to it.
  10. Be mindful. Staying in the here and now is a great way to avoid anxiety taking over. It’s about living in the present moment and not worrying about what you didn’t do yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.  Mindfulness helps us manage our emotions at the same time decreases stress, anxiety and depression. By taking just 6 minutes of your day and practising this simple exercise somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed you will be doing yourself a great favour. Continue reading… 

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