How to support your wellbeing over the festive season
The pandemic has meant that 2020 has been a year of disruption, cancelled plans and time apart from our loved ones, and unfortunately this theme has continued into the festive season that so many of us were looking forward to. We offer some advice about how we can support our mental wellbeing if we’ve found the latest round of news difficult to cope with.
Give yourself time to accept how you feel
It’s normal to feel upset, disappointed or sad if your plans have had to change. It’s probably unhelpful to bury your feelings about this or try to be positive about it for the sake of others. None of us have been through this before and there’s no right or wrong way to feel, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re finding it difficult.
Share how you’re feeling
Reach out to friends and family to share how you’re feeling. Pick up the phone or speak to someone you trust. You can also reassure them that you’re there if they find they’re struggling too. Talking about how we feel can be really supportive to our wellbeing and can help to reduce feelings of isolation. If this is difficult for you, emotional support lines might be able to offer support. You can find details for emotional support lines on our ‘get help now’ page. Even picking up a pen and paper can help and allow you to get all of your thoughts on a page so you can start to work through how you feel.
Focus on things you can control
Think about the things you have easy access to which support your wellbeing. This might mean drawing on some of the positive things that you’ve learned during the pandemic. For example, keeping physically active is really good for our mental wellbeing, so try to prioritise movement in your day and get outside if you’re able to. If there are particular activities that you find helpful, make time for them in your day.
Not everything needs to stop for Christmas
Routine tends to fall a little by the wayside at Christmas but try to keep doing the things that work for you, it might help your wellbeing to keep some consistency there. In addition to physical activity, try to ensure you get enough sleep. Keep an eye on your screen time and remember to take a break from the news if it all feels too much. You might have stocked up on alcohol or food for Christmas festivities, but that doesn’t mean you have to consume all of it over the coming weeks! If you have too much food, maybe see if your local foodbank is accepting donations that can support your local community.
Keep in touch
Isolation and loneliness impact our mental health. Do your best to keep in touch with people who might be finding things hard at the moment, particularly if they have experience of mental health conditions. Make plans to Zoom or FaceTime your family if you can and check in on your neighbours. Even small conversations can help us to feel more connected with the world around us.
If you’re really struggling, reach out for help
We have a ‘get help now’ page on rethink.org which has information on what to do if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis. Don’t delay in getting help for your mental health due to the situation with Covid-19, the message that the NHS is open for business is more important than ever. If you are having a really hard time with your mental health, please reach out for support.
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