It’s been drilled into our heads ever since we were born that Christmas is the time to, ‘eat, drink and be merry!’ That it’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ and ’tis the season to be jolly’. The constant reiteration of the same expectation… The Christmas is a time to be happy, have fun and that nothing can possibly be bad because HEY! IT’S CHRISTMAS! Tell you the truth, the older I’ve got, the more I’ve realised how dangerous these expectations are. We’re constantly bombarded with adverts and photos of the perfect Christmas, with a whole family surrounding a fire, tons of beautifully wrapped gifts under a 8ft tall perfectly decorated tree. Once again, another unrealistic expectation for the majority of people around the world.
Now this isn’t a hate post about Christmas. Since I started blogging, I’ve actually learnt to enjoy Christmas much more. There was a period throughout my teens when Christmas was awful for me. I’d lost my Nan, my Christmas “routine” had changed, I have no siblings that I could have had fun with and a family which wasn’t close. I was bombarded with photos of my friends on Facebook having family get togethers whilst I spent my day in my room – alone.
Thankfully Christmas has changed a bit for me since then. My boyfriend lives with us and we all eat dinner together, open our presents and usually play some games. Christmas is still a pretty quiet affair in our house but it’s better than it was. And that’s the main thing. Even talking about this gets me choked up, for a multitude of reasons and I know that I’m not the only person that finds Christmas a weird and sometimes difficult time. It’s so incredibly important to look after our mental well-being at this time of year – and help other people look after theirs too!
Unfollow anything that makes you feel down
Like I mentioned at the beginning, constantly seeing a stream of unrealistic Christmas expectations can often leave us feeling absolutely awful. So if you’re online and there’s a particular brand or person or celebrity figure who leaves you feeling deflated from their “perfect” world, unfollow them. Curate your feed to have a positive impact on you.
Take a break when you need one
Christmas is go-go-go for a lot of people, we feel like we have so many duties around this time of year from decorating, buying the perfect gifts, cooking the yummiest dinner, being the perfect host (if you’re hosting Christmas for a lot of people). Don’t forget to think about yourself every now and again and if you just can’t bare being in the kitchen anymore, ask someone else to hold the fort whilst you go and have half an hour.
Indulge but take care of yourself
I’d never, ever, ever encourage anyone to go on a diet or watch what they eat at Christmas (I’d never encourage anyone to go on a diet full stop). Eat those chocolates, have an extra Yorkshire pudding, drink that extra glass of wine for one night, whatever! But make sure you’re still taking care of your body, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting some exercise and fresh air and just generally not neglecting your physical health too.
Stay organised and on top of things
Staying organised is one of my specialties. I know it doesn’t come easily to everyone but I find that being organised really improves stress levels. To-do lists are your friend, pie charts, diagrams and even staying on top of your own personal thoughts and feelings by journaling each morning or night before bed is a great way to just keep everything in check.
Have a mindful Christmas with Funky Pigeon *
If you’re looking for gifts which encourage health and well-being for you or a loved one, then Funky Pigeon may be your answer. I kindly received this tote bag of some of their mindfulness and well-being products which would all certain encourage and support you during this incredibly stressful time of year. They have a huge selection of gifts (far bigger than I thought, tbh!) for all different types of people but the mindfulness and well-being products really stood out to me, for the reasons mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Take a break with a cuppa and one of their sweet ‘choconchoc’ white Belgian chocolates. Get stuck in to Fearne Cotton’s, ‘Happy’ and amazing book (which I’ve actually not long read) which is all about finding the joy in every day and letting go of that idea of perfect – very apt for this post! They have a whole range of lovely, colorful notebooks which will always come in handy for those Christmas lists or even your Christmas thought journal and their Pukka organic products can help encourage a peaceful nights sleep over this stressful, busy period.
They have a whole gorgeous, colorful range which will help promote and prompt positivity and increased mental well-being. Not just during Christmas, any time of year! But these would certainly make lovely gifts for anyone you know who might be going through a tough time this Christmas, to let them know you’re thinking of them. I’ve said time and time again on this blog that I think personalised gifts are the way to go and Funky Pigeon also have a gorgeous range of personalised baubles, which would also make a lovely sentimental addition to your loved ones stocking.
What actions do you take to look after your well-being during the hectic Christmas period? Do you find your mental health suffers at all?
* This post is sponsored by Funky Pigeon