12 Days of Christmas: Part 2
Welcome to part two of the 12 days of wellbeing for Christmas! Hopefully, by now you have caught up with the first 6 days and are ready to learn more ways in which you can look after and soothe your mental health this holiday season.
Day 7: taking a break from the chaos of everyday life is a good way to ensure you don't suffer from burnout. 23% of people with busy schedules say they feel as though they suffer from burnout more often than not, making it a really big and real issue. There are multiple ways in which you can remove yourself from certain stresses in life, such as getting creative with painting or sculptures, watching a movie or simply catching up on your sleep. Maybe a break for you looks like sitting in front of your computer and sorting out your Christmas gifts whether you're on Amazon, Swapabee, or Depop, online shopping is a great way to take your mind off other things which bring you stress.
Day 8: Your individual strengths are tasks and skills you can do well. Today is all about identifying these strengths and using them to the best of your ability. For example, if one of your individual strengths is listening, why not reach out to a friend and ask about their day. Ask how their parents are if they are ready for Christmas or just how they are doing in general. However, if your strength is being resourceful, then why not use your resources to improve your living situation. For example, by downloading the app Swapabee, you will be able to list an object you have in your home, and swap it for someone else's once loved item. You could also make a piece of art using found materials to make a new addition for your home, as well as create a new invention! Identify a problem within your house, maybe you walk into the same table corner every day, or you keep misplacing your keys. Using your resourcefulness, you could create a solution to all your problems! Overall, making your life a whole lot easier.
Day 9: A day for practising gratitude. To do this, you need to start noticing the good things around you more. Start looking for them and appreciating them. This could be as simple as someone holding a door open for you, or someone giving you a compliment. Absorb the good things and savour them, think about them and continue to look for more. You should tell people about your gratitude or express it to yourself. A good way to express your gratitude to yourself is by keeping a note of everything you experience and how it made you feel. Write how thankful you feel for these things. In turn, you will accidentally start to see more good in the world, your life will become easier.
Day 10: Today I challenge you to spend your day outside (I hope it’s not raining). Look for nature walks in your area, or forests you can explore. If this isn't your style, then take something you would usually do inside, outside. For example, if you work out in your home you could take this into nature's gym, or you could take your lunch outside and have a picnic. There are loads of benefits to spending time in nature, for example, it's a good anxiety reliever, and some people find the quiet to be relaxing. Not to mention if you take part in activities such as hiking or mountain climbing, it will significantly benefit your health in general, which leads to a better mental state. Other things you could do for free outside include going on a photography adventure, walking around a nature park or bird watch.
Day 11: Journaling is a great way to record thoughts and feelings of specific events that happen in your life. It can help you to prioritise your problems, concerns and fears which gives you an opportunity to organise your emotions and get an understanding of them. Everyone finds journaling beneficial for different reasons, whether it's to record the good parts of your day so that when you feel down you can remind yourself of these, or if it’s to find patterns in your behaviour so that you can more easily predict your feelings and get a better hold of them in different situations. By recognising triggers, you will be able to get better control over your responses. Some people just like to write down everything that's on their mind so that they can get it off their chest and never read again what they have written. The challenge for you today is to find out what type of journaling you enjoy, if any, and keep it up for the next month, see if there are any changes to your mood and behaviour!
Day 12: Today is the last day of your well-being calendar. Today is all about spending time with animals. If you have your own pets then how about you buy them a new treat and play with them more than usual today. Don't worry if not, there are plenty of other ways in which you can still see some furry friends. For example, there might be a place in which you can feed ducks in your area. A simple DIY for duck feed includes sweetcorn, frozen peas, oats, seeds and rice. This simple and heap blend will keep the ducks happy and full, and keep you satisfied. You can also sign up to a dog walking service, where owners will pay you to walk their dog. not only does this give you an opportunity to spend time with an animal without having to fully commit to it, but it also puts money in your pockets. There are similar paid services where you can cat sit somebody's precious kitty whilst they are at work, giving you alone time with an animal but not having to be out in the cold.
This marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas! Hopefully, through these 12 days, you have been able to try some new things to look after your mental health during the Christmas season. Remember that not all steps will work for everyone, as that it’s okay to keep trying different techniques. If you are really struggling, however, here is some information on how to access mental health services as well as some options for online mental health services. Stay safe and warm this Christmas!
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/.