Residents in Lancashire and St Helens are being encouraged to follow 12 simple steps to mental wellbeing to avoid unnecessary stress during the festive period.
Christmas is a time when friends and family come together to eat, drink, give gifts and celebrate, this can bring immense pressure to most of us but it is extremely important that we take care of our mental wellbeing. The Mindsmatter team at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust is providing some top tips to keep people well this Christmas, people can follow these on their own or with family and friends.
1- Do something different that you wouldn’t normally do. Break the usual routines and comforts. Maybe order something from a restaurant or café you wouldn’t normally order, park somewhere different, take a different route to work today than you would normally take.
2- Find and cook a new recipe. Look for healthy ideas online, buy the ingredients and cook it for yourself or your family.
3- Go for a walk in the park, maybe look for a Geocache with friends or family as a fun challenge. www.geocaching.com/play.
4- Buy something at your local charity shop, maybe a christmas present or little extra gift for a loved one. You will be supporting your local charity shops.
5- Spend 15 mins doing some mindful practice, try mindful observation or breathing www.pocketmindfulness.com/6-mindfulness-exercises-you-can-try-today/. These techniques can really help reduce worry and stress.
6- Go to the local market or superstore and buy a range of fruit for the week. Try to eat 5 pieces of fruit in total each day.
7- Pick up an audio CD, podcast on a novel or subject you are interested in. Listen in the car, or in bed.
8- Close the curtains put some music on loud and dance while no one’s watching. It’s fun, silly and enjoyable.
9- Watch a DVD/video of stand-up comedy. Have a good giggle to yourself or with friends and family.
10- Focus today on fixing or cleaning that thing you keep avoiding, something small and achievable.
11-Today try and reduce the amount of harmful things you may be in a habit of having; try less cups of tea, coffee or reduce your alcohol intake. This can help start new healthy habits and can aid things like sleep at night.
12- Complete a jigsaw or colouring book, maybe do it with others you live with. They are fun, relaxing and you can feel that sense of achievement after.
Phil Gooden, Mindsmatter Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“The festive season is great for bringing together family and friends to spend time with each other and celebrate. However, we do recognise that the preparation, financial pressure and family conflicts can often bring added and unnecessary stress for most people.
“We want people in Lancashire and St Helens to ensure that they are looking after themselves by planning and using their time effectively to avoid last minute running around, making sure that they get plenty of sleep and relaxation. We are encouraging people to do good deeds to make themselves feel better and maintain a positive mind set.
“Nobody should suffer alone, we have Mindsmatter teams across Lancashire at St Helens that are here to support anyone who is feeling low or stressed out this Christmas.”
People can access the service via the online referral form from the comfort of their own home, by post, telephone or by visiting their GP. For more information about your local Mindsmatter service and to access their online self-referral form please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Mindsmatter.