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Minding yourself this Christmas: How to protect your mental health at this time of year

It can be stressful at the best of times, here we take a look at how this Christmas can be a relaxing time.

Image: Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

THE FESTIVE PERIOD can be a very stressful period for many people. There are the family members you only see once a year, there are financial pressures and also the feeling that you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

It is not uncommon for those living with a mental health condition to feel overwhelmed by the festivities.

It is also not uncommon for someone without one either.

So many things that are part of our routines and we take for granted become disrupted by the change of pace in our lives.

Christmas shopping The festive period can be a very stressful time. Source: Niall Carson/PA

However, according to Mental Health Ireland, there are a number of ways we can be kind to ourselves this Christmas.

They include:

  • Be careful with the drink: Mental Health Ireland is reminding the public that alcohol is a depressant and, although it makes users feel relaxed, drinking large amounts can lead to low mood and irritability.
  • Get your head down: The festive period can throw our sleeping schedules out of sync as a result of our social lives. The advice is to try and stick to a regular sleeping pattern and get more exercise which will help you nod off.
  • Volunteer: Doing something good boosts your self-esteem, inceases happiness and can even benefit your physical health. Helping out at a charity will get you out and about and talking to people.
  • Stay in touch with the people you love: While it may be difficult to see everyone over Christmas, picking up the phone and having a chat with a friend can seriously boost your mood. Make plans in the near future to do something with the people who weren’t able to see over the Christmas time.
  • Get some exercise: Christmas can be a time for gluttony but Mental Health Ireland say exercise is one of the best things someone can do to elevate their mood. Endorphins released during and after exercise relax us and make us feel happy.

If you’re feeling low and need to speak to someone, the Samaritans are at hand 24/7. They can be contacted on 116 123 or online.

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