How to Practice Self Care at Christmas
Christmas is coming, which for many is a happy time of year. Full of family visits, Christmas parties, shopping trips, and of course, presents. But for some it can also be a very stressful, and often sad time of year too. Especially for those with an existing mental health condition.
Many of us are often expected to be jolly and sociable at Christmas, which can take its toll on anyone if you’re not really feeling it. So it’s important to take some time out wherever possible, and remember to look after yourself at Christmas by practicing self care.
Of course self care is different for everyone, and with so many obligations this time of year, it can be increasingly difficult to fit self care into your routine. So, today I’d like to share a few of my favourite Christmas self care activities, with you… with the hope that it makes your Christmas a little easier.
How to Practice Self Care at Christmas
One of the things I love about Winter are the crisp frosty mornings. It’s the perfect opportunity to bundle up and head outside for a walk in the fresh winter air. Whether that’s alone or with my friends or family.
Local parks are a great option but you could also take a walk around your neighbourhood and see what Christmas lights have been put up. Or even see what local events are on in your area; if you’re local to the Cotswolds I’d recommend Westonbirt Arboretum’s Enchanted Christmas.
Christmas can be overwhelming; but I find it helpful to write down all the events and tasks you have to do in December, so you can keep on top of everything. Some things you may include are family events, work commitments, who you’ll be buying presents for – and a budget for that, Christmas grocery lists, etc.
Take a break
Whether that’s a break from the social gathering you find yourself at or having a day to yourself with no plans at all. It’s important to try and find time in your busy schedule to relax, unwind, and take a breather.
Try Christmas Baking
Get Cosy with a Good Book and Seasonal Drink
When it’s cold or raining outside – or in some cases, both – there’s nothing I love more than curling up in a blanket with a good book. And what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than by picking up a heart felt Christmas story. Add a hot chocolate to mix I’d quite happily spend all day reading!
Thankfully when it comes to Christmas stories, you’re in luck, as there are so many options to choose from. From classics such as ‘A Christmas Carol’, to children’s books like ‘The Christmasaurus’, and also stories written by independent authors too, such as Calm By The Christmas Tree by Katie Burton, which is a collection of festive short stories.
Plan your own get together.
If your anxiety is triggered by new places, or meeting new people – like mine – then having a get together in your home may be a better idea than going to a restaurant or hotel your unfamiliar with. You also have the chance to plan the menu, entertainment, and guest list too. The key here however, is to ensure you don’t take on too much, and ask your friends and family for help if you need it.
Have a Festive Spa Night
One of my favourite ways to relax and unwind after a long, hard day is with a hot bubble bath. Especially when the weather starts to drop as it’s done so recently. This time of year, however, is when I like to add a little festive cheer to my bath time routine.
My go-to is one of Lush Cosmetics’ festive themed bath bombs or bath melts. But there as also some independent sellers you could consider as well, such as Cherry Bomb Boutique on Etsy, I love their Christmas bauble bath bombs!
When your bath is ready, turn the lights down low, light a few
candles and, relax. You could even pop on some Christmas music or carols and give yourself a well deserved pamper session. Two of my favourite pamper activities are face masks and moisturising scrubs, but do whatever makes you feel good.
Even if you don’t have a bath tub, or simply prefer showers, you can still enjoy a festive themed spa night. Consider trying themed showers gels, adding essential oils or using shower steamers, instead of bath bombs.
Avoid self medicating
Sure a few cocktails to calm your nerves may sound like a good idea, but alcohol is also a depressant, and it’s easy to drink too much when your nerves get the better of you. In fact, this has happened to me on a number of occassions! Now If I feel anxious going into a situation, I’ll avoid booze completely.
Learn to say no
Just because you’ve been invited to a Christmas party, or any other event, doesn’t mean you have to say yes to it. Instead put yourself first and take some time to think about if you really want to go. If the answer is no, then say so, you’ll thank yourself for it and avoid putting yourself in a triggering situation.
Talk to Someone
If you’re struggling this time of year – or any time really! – I would urge you to talk to someone, whether that’s a friend or family member, your GP, or a mental health organisation such as MIND. I’ve listed a few orgabisations in the UK you can contact below, and you can even message me on social media if you need a chat.
Samaritans – 116 123 / samaritans.org
NHS Non-Emergency – 111 / 111.nhs.uk
Papyrus – 0800 068 41 41 / papyrus-uk.org
National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 / nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Mind – 0300 123 3393 or text 86463 / mind.org.uk
The Mix – www.themix.org.uk/get-support
How do you practice self care at Christmas? Share your ideas in the comments. 😊
This post is part of the
a monthly collaboration between myself and seven other amazing bloggers. This month our theme is Christmas and we have a wonderful mix of holiday posts for you to enjoy. So make sure you follow along with the other bloggers in this collab below!
- December 6th – How to Plan the Perfect Holiday Celebration for Your Fur Babies! with Haley
- December 10th – My Christmas Wish List with Karalee
- December 14th – That’s me, thanks for reading. 😊
- December 15th – Christmas Markets all over the Globe with Jessie