Seven tips to help stay mentally healthy this Christmas

By Caitriona McMahon

Christmas is in the air, on the radio and in all our homes. But what if instead of joy it triggers painful memories? This time of year can be particularly difficult for many for various reasons. It’s important that amongst all the festivities we do not lose sight of minding ourselves and our mental health. From my own experience I have found a few tips that work for me and help me cope and I hope they help you too.

  1. Save at least one number in your phone of someone you know you can speak to in a time of emotional crisis. Maybe a friend, a family member or a service.  Even using a code name in your address book that only you will recognise can help.
  2. Take a step back from the frenzy of material gift giving and instead observe and share what is really important ie love, kindness, etc
  3. Spend time with elders and youth – our elders provide us with much needed wisdom and life experience which can both warm the soul and help us combat stressful situations. Whilst the youth in our lives keep us young at heart by showing us if we focus on what’s right in front of us and nothing else then we can live in sheer bliss for that moment.
  4. Give to others- Maybe it’s a helping hand with the Christmas dinner or volunteering with a local project. It’s a fact that helping others has a renowned positive effect on our own mental health.
  5. Eat chocolate – Because chocolate is the answer to everything. Unless you have an intolerance of course in which case a safer alternative should be sought.
  6. Self Care Selection Box – Grab a shoe box and fill it with items that make you feel good. Whether that is some pictures of your loved ones, CD’s, food, feel good DVD’s, facials, you name it what ever makes your heart smile should be part of this box. A box of comfort items.
  7. Spend time in nature and with pets – Nature has a healing effect and recharges our batteries. The key is to embrace what surrounds you.

Wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas and thank you all for your support throughout the year.

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