Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, your mental health might be affected by the holiday season. This time of year can bring a lot of pressures, whether it’s because you’re feeling lonely, not able to afford gifts for your family, or missing someone who has passed on.  

It’s important to know that you are not alone in feeling this way and that there are things that might help you feel better.  

Here are seven ways that you can look after your mental health during the festive season.  

1.Talk about how you’re feeling  

It can be hard to talk to someone if you’re not feeling your best. However, it can be helpful to talk about your emotions with someone you trust as it can improve your mood and make it easier to cope with difficult times. Taking time to have these conversations is important and is a way for you to take charge of your mental health.  

2.Take a break  

Taking a break from work or learning can be a great way for you to unwind and re-energise. A change of pace whether you’re staying home or away for the holidays can be a great way for you to reflect. Looking back on the year and thinking about any happy moments or accomplishments can make you feel grateful and look forward to the new year ahead. 

3.Keep up a routine 

During the winter break it can be easy to fall behind in your daily routine. It is important to take some time out of your day to day during the break but keeping a daily routine can help you structure your day and have something to look forward to. For example, you could go on an afternoon walk, take some time to journal or write, or have five minutes of mindfulness every day.  


4.Do things you enjoy 

What do you like to do? What makes you happy? Doing things that you enjoy can help relieve stress and give you an outlet for any negative emotions. Although it can be busy around the holidays, try and keep doing the hobbies and activities that bring you joy throughout the year. Maybe you enjoy making crafts, baking sweet treats, or singing along to your favourite song – whatever it is, it will help you feel better if you’re down.  


5.Look after your body 

At a time that’s all about giving to others, it’s just important to give to yourself. That means doing things that are good for your body like getting enough sleep, eating well, and drinking enough water. Exercise is also a great way to look after yourself because it can help your self-confidence, keep you focused, and improve your sleep. By looking after your physical health your mental health can improve greatly.  


6.Ask for help 

Sometimes your mental health struggles can be more than you can bear. If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, asking for help can be the first step to feeling more like yourself. It can be hard to ask for help, you may even feel embarrassed or scared but getting help for your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to someone you trust and see what steps you can take to get the help that you need and deserve.  


7. Give back  

Volunteering can help you feel like you’re making difference in the lives of others. There’s likely to be volunteer opportunities within your local community that can help you gain confidence, meet new people, and work towards a good cause. Acts of kindness, no matter how small, can make the world a better place and being a part of that is likely to bring you some joy.