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Mental health: show your support

hot chocolate recipe

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and the Christmas period can be a challenging time.

Open up about mental health

If you know that someone has had a difficult time recently or struggle with their health then invite them over, spend some time with them and see if they are ok. You can also pick up the phone or leave someone a message, just check in to see how they are and let them know you are there for them, especially if you know they have lost a loved one or have gone through a difficult time this year.

If you suffer from mental health problems then let your family and friends know that you may need some extra support over the next few weeks, as Christmas can be a very stressful time of year for a variety of different reasons.

Here are a few tips to help you get through the Christmas season:

  • Although it may make you feel relaxed, you should remember that alcohol is a depressant and drinking an excessive amount can bring your mood down.
  • Get involved and engage with people. Face-to-face conversation can improve our mental and physical health as it produces oxytocin, which can boost our heart health, cognitive function and our immune system
  • Use meditation, yoga and breathing exercises to help you relax and gain control over different situations.
  • Our routine can be disturbed at Christmas but ensure you have a regular sleeping pattern as this can help with stress levels.
  • Exercising releases the feel-good chemicals, endorphins, which can have many positive effects, such as making you feel happy, boosting your mood and it can help relax you.

Christmas Treats: Slow Cooked Hot Chocolate

Invite your friends and family over and enjoy a rich and creamy hot chocolate.


  • 1 litre of milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • Marshmallows, to serve
  • Squirty cream, to serve


  1. Pour milk and double cream into the slow cooker. Add in the milk and dark chocolate, then cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring halfway through.
  2. After 2 hours, remove the lid and stir again, continue to cook for another 12-20 minutes with the lid removed.
  3. Finally, ladle your chocolatey goodness into mugs, top with marshmallows and cream and enjoy!

Private Health Insurance

Looking after your mental health is important and when you take a Private Health Insurance policy out with us, we’ll give you access to our Health and Wellbeing Services which provides you with weekly support programmes, information on a range of medical topic and you will also have access to our confidential telephone counselling.

This content is subject to our Disclaimer.

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