4 Tips for a Mentally Healthy Christmas
Christmas is a time for festive cheer, enjoying being together with loved ones, and goodwill to all; at least that’s the idea. In reality, Christmas can be the most stressful time of the year for many and can accentuate money worries, feelings of loneliness, and depression. A third of Australians report that their personal relationships are negatively affected by Christmas due to work-life balance issues and financial concerns.
Even if you’re feeling strapped for cash this year or have personal, relationship or other issues that might put a damper on your Christmas spirit, it’s not inevitable that the season will have a negative impact on your mental health. Here are 4 tips to help you be more resilient this Christmas.
Tip One: Set a Budget and Stick to it
Finances are one of the biggest triggers when it comes to seasonal stress, so don’t make things even more difficult by overstretching yourself. Set an achievable budget and if you have lots of friends or family members to buy for, suggest doing a Secret Santa instead.
Tip Two: Manage Your Expectations
Christmas can feel like a let down if you’ve had grand plans and things haven’t gone the way you intended. Instead give yourself permission to have a less-than-perfect Christmas. Focus on your own actions and feelings and enjoy the pleasure that comes spending time with those we love without expecting anything in return.
Tip Three: Enjoy the Company of Others
Christmas can feel like an especially lonely time for some, but you don’t have to be alone. Even if your family is far away, there are lots of opportunities to spend time with others in the festive season. Keep a look out for events in the run-up to Christmas at your local church or community centre, which are a great chance to make new friends.
Tip Four: Take Time to Reflect on the Past and Plan for the Future
The end of the year is a good time to take stock of what went well and what didn’t and to start thinking about your goals and plans for the year ahead. If you’ve had a difficult year, it’s natural to be a little down, but try to focus on the positives and remember that a fresh new year is just around the corner and a new start comes with it.
I hope these tips help. Wishing you all a safe, happy and stress-free Christmas!
Ricky & Charlie