We’re all dreaming of a stress-free Christmas

When creating workplace health checks for our clients, we’re always careful to ensure that there is as much importance placed on people’s mental health as their physical health.

At this time of year, it’s more important than ever.

Last December we looked at 6 tips for having a calmer Christmas.

Since this can be a stressful time of year for even the most chilled-out individual, we thought it was worth revisiting some of the strategies that could help you to avoid feeling anxious.

Rather than being replaced with magically festive feelings, money worries, health concerns, family tensions and loneliness are likely to feel more pronounced than ever.

Here are a few ways that you can feel a bit more positive during the festive season.

Make a list and check it twice

Everyone has an aspect of the holidays that they love… and a few parts that inspire downright despair. Putting it down on paper can really help.

It might be a to-do list that helps you to organise everything. Or it could be a way to vent your frustrations. It’s also a great way to plan your seasonal spending in advance.

Write down the type of Christmas you really want. Decide who you want to spend it with and how much you can afford to budget towards it.

By putting it on paper, you can set realistic expectations, put Christmas in perspective and ensure that nothing is left to the last minute.

The hap-happiest season of all

We often set ourselves unrealistic goals when it comes to Christmas. The day itself doesn’t have to be a chocolate-box picture of yuletide perfection.

Who says Christmas dinner has to be turkey with all the trimmings?

If you’re alone at Christmas and you’ll find it difficult to be with family, do something else.

It might not seem very festive but cleaning the house, reading a book or taking a long walk can help to keep you active without having to “be Christmassy”.

As you exercise you release endorphins which calm you down and lift your mood, making it a great relaxation technique. It also helps to strengthen your immune system against winter bugs.

If you do have family over, don’t shoulder all of the burdens. Get others involved and delegate tasks.

From now on our troubles will be out of sight

It can be tempting to turn to the same-old Christmas treats to mask your anxiety. While there's nothing wrong with treating yourself, try not to have too much. Especially since alcohol is a powerful mood depressant.

Fill yourself up with protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar steady. Brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts are fantastic brain-friendly festive snacks.

If you feel your stress levels rising, let people know about it. Your loved ones will be just as concerned about your mental health and wellbeing as you are.

You’ll probably find that they feel the same way and are just “putting on a brave face”.

If you can’t tell those close to you or you don’t have anyone that you feel comfortable confiding with, you might find it easier to speak to a stranger.

There are plenty of mental health helplines that could help:

Mind – 0300 123 3393

SANE – 0845 767 8000

CALL – 0800 132 737

Samaritans* 08457 90 90 90

No Panic – 0844 967 4848

*24-hour helpline

Hopefully, with a few simple strategies, you can have a peaceful, stress-free Christmas.

Warmest wishes from everyone at Fusion OH.

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Categories: Health & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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