Mental Health: December self care reminders/Ideas for optimal festive fun

Whilst this is known to be the most magical time of the year it is also stressful. So here’s some self care reminders.

  • Work out your total budgets for presents/decorations after you’ve paid all your monthly bills. Perhaps you could agree that you concentrate on gifts for the children rather than the adults in your family and instead offer your DIY/babysitting/dog walking services.
  • Write a list of gifts to buy for each person and make sure to stay within your budget. Take advantage of any in store and online offers and add up with a calculator as you go along so that you stay focused and in budget and not be overwhelmed by the amount of choices
  • Write a list of what you need to cook Christmas dinner (tinned vegetables are much cheaper and stay fresh for longer) If you’re having guests ask them to bring sprouts/wine/crackers/whatever you deem essential for your Christmas Day.
  • Delegate tasks; ask the kids to help make Christmas cards, or older siblings to take the little ones out so you can wrap presents in peace with no little ones getting a sneak preview. Get Aunty Ida to help sew the nativity costumes and gran to bake with the kids. Get the kids involved decorating the tree, hanging stockings, mistletoe and paper chains. Set your Christmas dinner table up in advance; get the kids to make a Center piece, roll cutlery in napkins, get a nice table cloth, put out plates and glasses and get the kids to make place names. You can’t do it all on you’re own. Christmas is all about family so it should be a team effort! Can’t afford to see a pantomime? Watch one on YouTube or put on your own.
  • There’s no such thing as a perfect Christmas remember that films at TV have several takes to get everything just so.
  • Handmade gifts aren’t to be discouraged as anything less so than shop bought gifts, if anything it’s lovely to have personal gift.
  • You don’t have to put up with toxic people or situations. You’ll be much happier if you want to be there or with the people you choose. There’s nothing worse than putting up with negative or snide comments
  • Be mindful if you see someone with a larger or smaller portion than usual. Christmas can be a stressful time for those with eating disorders and no matter how well intentioned your comments may be, it’ll make things worse.
  • Just because you’re not in a relationship doesn’t mean you should be miserable or jealous of loved up couples, you need to think positively and think of what new opportunities await you in the new year
  • Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone wether that be to losing a relative the previous year or they suffer from Mental Health issues and though you may want a positive atmosphere it may make people struggling to feel even worse so, be gentle with your encouragements.
  • We often get caught up with the prospect of the latest gadget or craze at Christmas, be sure to take stock of what you already have – go round the table and say what you are thankful for.
  • Christmas can often be hectic with all the preparations so make sure you take time for you. Wether that be your getting your nails done or a bath with your favourite bath bomb.
  • Get up 10 minutes earlier and write a list of what you need to tackle that day or preparation you need to do and you’ll feel so satisfied when you’ve ticked everything off your list and then you can sleep safely in the knowledge that everything is in hand.
  • Prep all your food two days before and freeze it so that on Christmas Day you can spend less time basting the turkey and more time singing carols or playing with the kids.
  • If you’re having family members over let each person pick one programme to watch and if their are any clashes record one or watch one on plus one.
  • Don’t spend time fretting that your Christmas isn’t stereotypically traditional – I know some people who order a takeaway for their Christmas dinner or volunteer at an retirement home/help out at a homeless shelter or invite a lone neighbor over to eat. Mix it up create traditional events such as an after dinner walk or do something completely different like join in the Christmas swim or go watch a football match or just laze around in your new clothes/pjs and read. (My favourite bit of Christmas Day is the dinner then watching Christmas specials on TV and nodding off in my armchair.

Whatever your plans be sure to look after yourselves and have lost of festive fun!

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