Making the Christmas Break Work for Your Mental and Physical Health

For many people, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. No matter your religion or your view on spirituality, it is a time that people come together in the name of goodwill and giving. The festive season also signals a period of rest for many and a time to reflect and recharge.

Utilizing your Christmas break is one of the best ways to reset yourself before another working year begins. This opportunity allows you to begin new habits you can carry on when you get back to work and allows you to evaluate your work-life balance. Be it your physical or mental health, it is important at these times to look inwards, to how you live your life and what you could be doing better for your health.

Mental health issues during the holidays

Despite the break, many people find the Christmas holidays stressful. Be it because of buying presents, seeing family or just the pace of life that many people struggle to keep up. Organisations such as Beyond Blue have also conceded that this is a particularly hard time of year, with people needing more assistance during the holiday season. That’s why during the Christmas holidays it’s a good idea to slow down as much as possible and try to enjoy your time off. Independent of family, try to spend time with friends or by yourself. Often talking through your concerns with others or having a chance to think can help to relieve stress. 

Another great way to look after your mental health this Christmas break is to volunteer. Although this might sound like more work, giving back is one of the best ways to make the time off seem worthwhile. It can be incredibly uplifting knowing you’re helping others who are struggling during the year, and you can invite your friends and family to join too.

Getting in shape and feeling your best

Just as your mental health is important, so too is your physical health. A healthy body is a healthy mind, so going for a run in the morning or to the gym is a great way to kick-start an exercise program. This fitness regime may be something you enjoy and can eventually work into your routine when you get back to work.  Exercise doesn’t have to be structured, however. Going for a kick around with a football at the park or going to play fetch with your dog is a great way to get outdoors and exercise your body.

The Christmas break doesn’t have to be a stressful time where you plan for the perfect gifts, food and entertainment just to impress your family. By taking a few practical steps, you can transform this time into something useful and set up your physical and mental health for the year ahead.

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