Kai Morris, our resident Psychologist from Mental Notes, has provided some tips on how to maintain your wellbeing during the break.
For some, the holiday season is a joyful time of year. One spent with friends and family, taking a holiday, or just spending time by yourself. For others, it is one of the most stressful times of year. Having to meet expectations, work long hours, deal with cranky customers. No matter what side of the spectrum you are on, it can be a mentally exhausting time of year. Below are some tips to maintain your wellbeing during this holiday season, as best you can.
1. Stay connected with people
We often spend time with family during the holiday season, but it may not be quality time. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can mean we feel rushed or pressured to meet certain expectations. Make sure you truly stay connected, have meaningful conversations with the ones you care about and love – drop the phone, the work emails etc. and stay in the moment.
Also, it is important to recognise that some people are not able to spend the holidays with their loved ones. Due to COVID-19, this is an increasing scenario for people this year. So, reach out to a mate who you know might be in that situation – send them a message, give them a call, or even call in and see them. It will definitely help them, but it will also make us feel good for reaching out.
If you are someone who may be on your own this year, I encourage you to do the same. Reach out to some friends, have a virtual catch-up with family, or even do some volunteer work. Social connection is vital to our wellbeing.
2. Take time for you
As mentioned above, the holiday season can feel as though we are on the go constantly. Whether that is Christmas parties, having to see family members, and the pressure to see people. When we get caught up in this cycle, we feel even more exhausted than what we did beforehand. Do not forget to take time for you and yours this holiday season. Take some time out, spend a few days for yourself, doing what you want to do. This is vital to feel refreshed for the following year, rather than feeling even more exhausted.
If you are fortunate enough to have some time off, disconnect from work. Turn off notifications for your emails, set boundaries around being contacted, and do not look at your work computer. We need to be able to switch off, so we can switch back on again for the following year. The same tips relate to technology, spend some time away from social media and your phone. Go for that bush walk you have not had time for, or meet a friend you haven’t had a chance to catch up with for a while.
4. Reach out if you need
The holiday season can be tough for people. It is not always the joyful experience that is shown in movies or on TV. If you, or anyone you know of are struggling this holiday season reach out and speak to someone. Whether that is a mate, your GP, or a mental health professional. Do not feel like you need to do this on your own.