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Inner Harmony: Looking after your Mental Health

Looking after your mental health at Christmas

In the midst of work, after school clubs, doing the washing and family gatherings, there exists a quieter narrative for many people – throughout the year, the festive seasons can be marked by isolation, anxiety, and the weight of unresolved emotional burdens.

While the holidays are typically associated with joy, togetherness, and the spirit of giving, they can also serve as a reminder of loneliness, grief, and pressure.

For those dealing with the emotional difficulties of Christmas or any other time of year, the anticipation of social engagements, the pressure to purchase extravagant gifts, or the societal narrative of a 'perfect Christmas' can worsen feelings of insufficiency, isolation, and anxiety.

Acknowledging this reality is the first step towards navigating emotional turbulence. It's essential to recognise that the true essence of the holidays lies not in material possessions or societal expectations, but in the cultivation of inner peace, meaningful connections, and self-compassion.

To combat the anxieties, here are some strategies to foster inner harmony and find solace during this festive season:

A Supportive Network

Surround yourself with understanding and compassionate people who provide a safe space for open communication. Share your feelings, concerns, and any anxieties you may be having. Speaking openly can ease emotional burdens, adopt a sense of connection, and provide insights on how to cope.

If you're feeling particularly vulnerable during the holidays, reach out to General & Medical's 24/7 Health and Wellbeing services. The team are available to provide you with a listening ear, guidance, and resources to support your emotional well-being.

Personal Discovery

Explore new experiences and activities that ignite your curiosity and passion. Take up a hobby you've always been interested in trying, or rekindle your enthusiasm for something you previously enjoyed. Joining a community or online group centred around your interests can boost your confidence, expand your social circle, and give a sense of belonging.

For those struggling with social anxiety, crafting unique gifts for loved ones can also be a therapeutic. Activities like knitting, crocheting, or painting offer a meditative outlet for creative expression, reducing stress and alleviating anxiety.

Movement

Take part in regular physical activity, even if it's just a leisurely walk or a dance session in your living room. Exercise releases endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers, which combat stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Physical activity also promotes physical well-being, improving cardiovascular health, reducing inflammation, and enhancing sleep quality.

If you're a runner, consider participating in a ParkRun 5k event on Christmas Day, held in various locations worldwide. These community-based runs foster a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose, providing a welcome distraction from holiday worries and encouraging healthy competition.

Disconnect

Social media platforms often intensify feelings of inadequacy and isolation, especially during the holidays when others seem to be enjoying picture-perfect Christmases. Try and limit your time on social media and focus on activities that enrich your own life. Whether it's immersing yourself in a book, taking a relaxing bath, or enjoying a walk.

Remember, your personal life may not always mirror the idealised versions portrayed online or on television. Get used to the imperfections and unique traditions and just focus on your true self, not just through material gifts, but through acts of kindness, compassion, and selflessness.

Private Health Insurance

Here at General & Medical, we understand just how overwhelmed people can get at Christmas, we know how anxiety can take over, so with every single one of our policies, we offer free 24/7 support whenever you may need it.

Learn more about our Health & Wellbeing Services. Or to find out how little health insurance could cost you, get your free no-obligation quote today!

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