by the Feel Good Team
Despite the endless glitzy adverts showing everybody enjoying the festive season, this often isn’t the case for many of us. Whilst it can be a great occasion for joy and spending time with loved ones, it can also be stressful, emotional and lonely.
Here are some of our top tips on how to look after your wellbeing during the festive period.
Talk about your feelings
It can seem difficult to admit that you’re not feeling great, when you feel like everybody else is enjoying such the festive time of year, but talking about your feelings can be really therapeutic, and help you to manage them. You might also realise that your friends and family members have experienced similar feelings.
Sometimes keeping a journal, or writing things down, can help if you are feeling anxious. Try and make time to speak to somebody you trust about how you are feeling.
Do a random act of kindness
If you feel a bit daunted by the idea of volunteering, then why not start by doing a few random acts of kindness over the holidays? Christmas can be lonely for many people but a small act of kindness might make it that little bit easier. You could send a letter to elderly relative or neighbour or if you know a friend is feeling lonely you could organise to watch a Christmas film together via a video call.
Check out our recent blog article on random acts of kindness for more ideas!
Light exercise is a brilliant tool for lifting your mood, especially when you might have been stuck at home for most of the day and can take your mind off any festive stress, and it’s free! It’s also a good counterbalance if you are enjoying some festive food over the holidays. It doesn’t mean hours of sweating, but a bracing winter walk or a short body-weight workout at home can get those endorphins pumping.
If you’re stuck for what to do, the Centre for Sport have organised a Movement Advent Calendar, designed to get you moving every day in December. Updates will be posted on their Instagram.
Enjoy the small things and practice mindfulness
Focusing on what you’re grateful for, and the small things that can brighten up your day, can help refocus your mind to think positively, and take your mind off stress. You could perhaps think of 3 things you are grateful for every day, take 10 minutes to practice a short meditation on the free Headspace app, or take the time to do something small for your own wellbeing every day.
Activities like making a festive craft, watching an old favourite movie, or taking a relaxing bath, are all great ways to self-care that can all contribute to you feeling good over the festive period. Mindfulness is a great way to unwind and clear the mind, check out Bemindful, the Headspace app, or the Calm app.
Remember there are always people there to help you
If you are struggling and you feel like you can’t cope, then it is important to speak to somebody. Visit our wellbeing support options for more information on the support available to you through the University.