At this time of year, self-care and setting healthy boundaries with yourself, family and friends are important. Here are some ideas of how to take care of yourself this Christmas (and beyond):
• Create positive space as much as possible, keep your mental health and wellbeing in mind. Take walks in nature, or just get some fresh air standing by the back door. Do what feels manageable, without feeling overwhelmed.
• Plan things for yourself that help bring you a little sparkle. Self-Care is in the little things: planning your favourite meal. Changing your bedding. Putting fresh towels out. It all counts.
• Be gentle with the things you say to yourself.
• Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed medication. Make any calls needed to your healthcare providers, so that you know their opening hours and treatment arrangements over the Bank Holidays
• Have a list of numbers of people you can call if you’re struggling – Samaritans are on 116 123, 24/7
• Know your ‘walk-away points’ e.g. decide how you’ll know when it’s time to leave. Think about your resilience and how healthy (or unhealthy) it is to stay in situations that feel uncomfortable. Know your early warning signs of anxiety, so you can take positive action when needed.
• Get comfortable saying ‘no’, and not explaining yourself. You can say things like “Thank you, that doesn’t work for me”.
• Practice a form of relaxation before going into crowded, busy or noisy places. Try focusing on your breathing and allowing the breath to relax your body. Notice the coolness of breath as you breathe in, and the warmness of breath as you breathe out.
• Remember, Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. Good enough is enough.
If you know someone who is struggling, don’t wait for them to come to you. Reach out, ask them how they are. Then ask again. Drop them a text message, or give them a call to show you care. Be in your mate’s corner.
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©️ Delphi Ellis 2018