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Self care over the holiday season
Published Thursday 13 December 2018
- Disability and Mental Health
It’s that time of the year again! Whether you’re planning on travelling or staying at home, the holiday season can easily become one of the busiest times of the year. While some are seasoned professionals at organising their festive celebrations, for a lot of us it can become a stressful and daunting time, so we’ve put together a list of hints and suggestions to help you get through the holidays.
- Make a plan
It might sound simple, but making a list (and checking it twice) is a sure-fire way to stay on top of all of your Christmas jobs. A list of people to buy for can be started at any point during the year and purchasing gifts throughout the year can be a simple way to minimise shopping time come December. If you have a clear idea of what you wish to buy for someone, peak sales times such as back to school sales or end of financial year sales can be a great time to grab a bargain. If you are hosting family or friends over the holiday period, doing up a food shopping list and stocking up on non-perishables ahead of time will help you avoid those last-minute dashes to the supermarket on Christmas Eve.
- Don’t be afraid to delegate
Oftentimes, we feel an obligation to be in total control of everything when we are hosting, which can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed or snowed under. If you are able to, don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to other family members or friends. Even the simplest tasks, such as picking up the prawns for Christmas lunch or collecting lay-buy orders can be time consuming, and most people would be more than willing to help if you just ask.
- Less is more
We're all guilty of it; we hold ourselves to near-impossible expectations. We see the glossy advertisements of grand Christmas trees decked to the nines, tables covered with lavish spreads of food and people sitting down on Christmas morning surrounded by gifts, and feel that we need to re-create these in order to have the perfect festive celebration. While these advertisements can be nice to look at, it's important to remember that they are not the reality for the vast majority of people. The holiday season is for spreading cheer and joy; two things that don’t require massive expenditure or hours of preparation.
- Don’t let negative influences ruin your holiday
Christmas can mean spending time with people who don’t contribute positively to your wellbeing. While we can’t always avoid them, we can control how much we let them in. Sometimes the best approach is to keep conversation superficial and vague, avoiding mentioning anything that will give them the opportunity to upset you. Confiding in trusted family and friends and making them aware of your situation can also help make you feel more safe and comfortable. While it is the season of love and joy, remember that also means looking after your own mental and/or physical health.
- Take time for yourself
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, between purchasing gifts, making holiday plans and catching up with loved ones. It's exciting, but it can easily become stressful and exhausting. Taking some time out for yourself every day can make a world of difference. Whether it’s making time to have a cup of tea, go for a walk, or whatever it is that you enjoy doing, actively scheduling some 'me-time' can help you feel calmer and more in control.
There is much joy and love to be shared and experienced throughout the holiday season, and we hope you and your loved ones have a happy Christmas and a magical New Year!
Wesley Mission Queensland has a variety of mental health services that can help you.
If you would like more information on our services, please visit our mental health webpage or give our team a call on 1800 448 448.