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Flourishing in the Festive Season

Hard to believe it’s December and we’ve made it through another year of lockdowns and the Covid pandemic. Now it is time to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with those near and dear! For some, this is a lovely time of year of connection with those you might have had limited time with during 2021. For others, there are stresses involved. Let’s look at a few tips on how to flourish during this time:

Manage your expectations. Christmas tends to shine a light on the stresses and cracks that already exist in relationships. So, be mindful of this and potential triggers that can cause arguments or tension. Relaxation techniques can also be beneficial for you to help manage your feelings and anxiety.

Everything in moderation. Yes, it’s the season to be jolly, but overdoing it, especially with alcohol, can negatively impact your health and wellbeing. Try to choose fresh fruit and vegetables wherever you can and limit the amount of alcohol you consume over the festive period. Also, decide ahead of time to drink water regularly.

Get out and about. Keeping up your regular exercise routine – or taking advantage of your holiday time will help boost your serotonin levels and reduce stress. Plus, it helps to walk off the calories if you enjoyed too many mince pies!

Don’t overdo it. Lack of sleep or doing too much can often be a trigger for anxiety and depression. So, try to get a good night’s sleep and schedule some ‘me time’ for yourself during the holiday period. Be kind to yourself. It’s okay to say no to a social engagement if you believe you have been doing too much.

If you think you’re going to be alone at Christmas, make it a priority to reach out to your friends and family by phone, email, or social media. Many great organisations host events on Christmas Day, which you’re very welcome to enjoy as a guest or as a volunteer.

Reflect on the positives of the year (or the day). Write down three things that have recently happened that make you feel happy or leave you with a positive sense of self. It can be as simple as a new recipe you have learnt to cook or as complicated as a new technical skill on a computer. Or it could be that you have made a new friend or have become fitter during the lockdown. Also, take the time to think about easy and accessible future goals you may have and write them down.
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