12 Days of Christmas: Part 1
During two national lockdowns, it has been difficult for everyone to maintain a healthy mental state. As we lead up to Christmas it is increasingly important to allow yourself some time for relaxation and alleviate stress in your life to make room for Christmas joy! Follow along each day with these 12 days of wellbeing for Christmas!
Day 1: first of all, it is important to learn some techniques to help you in everyday situations when feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Many people like to take time for themselves to meditate or practice breathing activities. For example, the 4 7 8 approach says to close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Doing this throughout your day when you find yourself rushing or worrying can help alleviate stress significantly. Alternatively, finding your favourite meditation video on youtube to follow along with could be a better, more engaging option. You will find that once you start to make meditation a part of your everyday routine, anxiety decreases as your body gets used to it. Burning a candle at the same time, or using a room diffuser enhances this experience too! Mindfulness can also help to decrease anxiety and stress feelings if practised on a regular basis.
Day 2: now you have learnt how to be calm and collected, it is time to make your environment reflect your mood. Tidying your living space and decluttering your items will automatically make your home and mind feel cleaner and clearer. Many people choose to sell items online in places such as eBay or Depop, but another great option would be to use the app Swapabee! If you find you have an item which takes up a lot of space but is something you want to keep, Swapabee is the perfect way to do this. You simply download the app on your phone and decide a swapping location and time with another user, or simply send your item in the post. This way, you can swap one of your old items for someone else's version of yours which is smaller or more compact. This way you own less stuff whilst not missing out! Remember this might take more than one day depending on your workload.
Day 3: okay so your home is perfect and you know how to handle stress. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t get to the point of having to use your stress-relieving techniques too often! What better way to spend day 3 than to do some Christmas themed baking! Now if you're not an amazing baker that's okay, no one will know if you buy a premade mix. If you do enjoy baking, however, a good place to start is to make mince pies! These are really easy for beginner bakers too so is a good way to start your Christmas. There are ready-made mixes of mincemeat and pastry in almost every supermarket during the Christmas period, although Paul Hollywood would be disappointed if you didn’t use his recipe. Sugar cookies and cinnamon rolls are also perfect as a holiday treat, don't forget to accompany your festive goodies with a Glühwein!
Day 4: The Christmas season is all about giving! Why not challenge yourself to give at least one compliment to each of your friends today. Pair this with lending a hand to someone who needs it, for example offering to paint your brother's chest of drawers with him, or picking up your mum's shopping so she doesn’t have to. Another way to give during the Christmas period is random acts of kindness. Whether it is holding open a door for someone or paying for someone’s Costa order, randomly helping those around you will both make you feel better about yourself and make the receiver feel like someone cares
Day 5: Keeping active is an essential way to keep good emotional well-being. During the winter months, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go on a run or play football, but there are ways in which you can stay active and warm inside this winter. Many people have started to make home gyms with minimal equipment in their own homes. All you need is a few weights and resistance bands and you're set to go! If the gym isn’t really your thing, a skipping rope can make a world of difference to your active lifestyle. Today, challenge yourself to create an active routine in which you can maintain and carry out each day.
Day 6: Making time for your friends and family is a vital way to maintain great well-being. Today, strengthen your relationships by giving your mum a call, plan a coffee date with your bestie, and see your siblings. Is so important to remember to stay connected with the people you love during this stressful and busy time, it can be too easy to forget to connect with others
These are the first 6 days of well-being during Christmas. Using these steps will give you a good idea on where to start when looking after your mental health, as well as breaking down what can be seen as overwhelming, into more bite-sized steps.
This article is in association with SWAPABEE. An environmental app company that allows anyone to swap their items for others. Create an account and start swapping today at https://swapabee.co.uk/.