With Christmas just around the corner children are getting excited, families are planning the holidays, malls are beginning to get busy with people shopping and looking for that perfect gift. This time a year is can be wonderful and fun but for some, the pressures can accumulate quickly and we can forget the meaning behind the meaning Christmas. These feelings of being under pressure can produce symptoms of anxiety, anger and difficulty sleeping which, if prolonged, could have a long-term detrimental impact on your mental health and well being.
Leaving all your preparations for Christmas until the last minute can cause unnecessary stress, but planning ahead can save you time and money. Making lists for jobs to do, presents to buy and groceries you'll need helps to organize your thoughts, prevents you forgetting something (or someone) and makes it easier to stick to a budget. Christmas and New Years often involves social drinking and although the consumption of alcohol might make you feel more relaxed, it is important to remember that alcohol is a depressant and drinking excessive amounts can cause low mood, irritability or potentially aggressive behavior. Remembering to exercise is just as important during the holidays, as any time of the year. Physical activity releases the feel-good chemicals, endorphins, which help you to relax, feel happy and boost your mood. Simple tasks such as cycling to work, walking in the park, or joining in with Christmas games, you can benefit from experiencing reduced anxiety, decreased depression and improved self-esteem.
Here are five ways to stay active over the holidays:
1. Go ice-skating! At this time of year there are a number of outdoor ice-rinks around various locations to enjoy.
2. Go for a winter walk! It is a less strenuous form of exercise than going for a hard-core session in the gym.
3. Prefer to be indoors? Why not dance to some festive tunes. A fun way to burn off the Christmas turkey!
4. Take advantage of the Christmas weather. If it snows perhaps build a snowman or have a snowball fight.
5. Do activities as a family. Over indulgence is hard to avoid around Christmas so why not decide to go for a winter walk with all the family after dinner. Staying connected to those around you will help if you’re struggling. Sometimes just a walk or meeting someone for a coffee will help relieve the feelings of depression and anxiety.
Remember, its not how much is under the tree, its spending it with people you love and care about.
Until next month…..