Christmastime can bring a real range of emotions for people. It is a time where our wellbeing could be impacted if we don’t prioritise and manage it. We wanted to share our top tips to help you manage your wellbeing at Christmas.

We often experience the ‘should’ thoughts, that we ‘should’ be feeling happy, or we ‘should’ be enjoying ourselves. But inevitably we will fall short of the ‘Christmas card’ image of the perfect Christmas.

For some people Christmas is a particularly difficult time. It may be because of loneliness or loved ones who are no longer here but are greatly missed. And even if that isn’t the case the traditions of eating and drinking, often to excess. Followed by the later nights, partying and lack of routine will all have a detrimental effect on our wellbeing.

It is therefore really important to consider your wellbeing at Christmas, and make a plan, if you are keen to mitigate some of these factors where you can.

1) Don’t over commit

I always suggest the starting point is to understand you and your needs and natural tendencies. An extrovert will feel energised by being in the company of others. Time away from work, and your routine can feel isolating and so if you are an extrovert ensure you have plans and time spent with other people.

Those who are more introverted can find spending lots of time with others can be draining and need sufficient time between gatherings and events to recharge. Plan for this and don’t over commit.

2) Take naps

The holiday season can be tiring. This may be down to late nights. Or perhaps the quality of our sleep is effected due to us eating and drinking differently to our usual patterns. We may be doing more socialising which can deplete our energy. Therefore naps can be a great way to give yourself a boost and overcome some of that fatigue.

Taking naps can help to improve our alertness and our mood. However, keep them short!

Napping for too long can interrupt your night time sleeping patterns.

Top Tips for napping:
  • Keep them short, 15-20 minutes
  • Don’t nap after 3pm

3) Stay hydrated

With the increased alcohol intake, changes in the food we eat (including slatier snacks) this can lead to dehydration. Add to that, being out of your daily routine, you may be missing your cues to drink water.

Top Tips for staying hydrated:
  • Start the day with a large glass of water before anything else
  • Have a large bottle and keep it with you
  • Use flavourings to keep it interesting
  • Drink water between alcoholic drinks

When we become dehydrated we get irritable, we feel bloated and sluggish. Fatigue can set in, our concentration is affected and it can cause headaches. Feel fresher and alert by keeping those hydration levels up!

4) Keep Active

Again due to the change in routine we may not have the cues which would trigger us to do our usual exercise. This may not be a specific exercise activity, but if we are taking time away from work we will no longer be walking to the train station or doing the school run- these all count as active minutes!

Plan for each day the times when you will be active. Be realistic and stick to it with an emphasis on movement, rather than a full blown exercise regime.

Your activity may look different over the festive period. Perhaps more walks with the family for example. Staying active will improve your mood, maintain a healthy heart and reduce the bloat. Helping you to feel better.

5) Say ‘no’

This one is all about setting boundaries. Take the time to consider how you are feeling and what your needs are. These boundaries may be in relation to your time. Maybe turning down some of the social events or saying ‘no’ to relatives or friends if you’re feeling already over committed could help.

Saying ‘no’ and boundaries may be in relation to your finances. Setting budgets and sticking to those budgets. While Christmas is a time for giving, we often get wrapped up in the commerciality of Christmas.

Set your plans and stick to them. Have open and honest conversations with people to help alleviate the guilt.

Remember be kind to yourself and prioritise managing your wellbeing at Christmas. You are in no position to help others if you don’t put your own oxygen mask on first. Have fun and I hope some of these tips help you to manage your health and wellbeing this festive period.