For some, Christmas can be the most amazing time of year. For others, it’s a real struggle.
How you come into the Christmas season will be your own personal journey. As always, keeping up your exercise (running) routine can really help, but in times where routine goes out the window, this can be tough.
With this in mind, here are some simple hacks for keeping your mind healthy this season:
1. Don’t feel under pressure
There will be lots of talk around indulgences, eating lots and relaxing. Whilst this is fine, this may be something that you are not actually comfortable with.
For example, despite it being everywhere and it being offered to me, I don’t drink alcohol. That doesn’t change regardless of the time of the year. Hold true to your values. If you still want to eat “well” and not drink, then do it. If you want to go to to the gym or get miles in over the Christmas period then go for it. Don’t let the peer pressure of indulgence ruin what makes you feel good.
2. Do good
It’s the season for giving. And gifts come in many packages. Remember it’s not about the amount of presents, it’s the value of PRESENCE. Have a think about where you can spend your time to do good. This doesn’t have to be a lot. A visit to an elderly neighbour, offer of childcare to stressed out parents, or a walk (run!) with a friend for a chat to decompress. Phoenix Running Club is associated with Knebworth Foodbank and most of our members are on a rota to help out all year round. If you are interested in helping it would be most welcome. Please contact us via the website and we will put you in touch!
3. If you are struggling, TALK
Please do not suffer in silence. If you are finding this time of year a struggle financially, emotionally or generally stressful please reach out to those around you who care.
As a running community, we know the value of combining exercise with mental health. We may come across as running for every occasion; but actually it’s just about moving. If you move, with a friend and talk, this can have immense benefits. If you feel this goes beyond a chat with your community or a friend, please reach out to;
MIND in Hertfordshire
4. Take the break you deserve
If you are in a job where a break is possible, take the break!
We are in an age where we are accessible in many ways. Our devices are never far away from us, and within those devices we have functions for DM’s and video calling. Not to mention emails, WhatsApp’s and texts. One thing that I have done for a while now is turn off all notifications on my phone. This means that I actually have to go into my apps to check. It’s a lot less frequent when you don’t get a notification! Once you leave work, leave things that connect you behind too. Mute, archive, remove. They will still be there when you get back and January is a long month! Of course, if still being connected to your work actually helps your stress levels and means you can relax a bit knowing you are in control, then do that too!
5. Do what “fun” means to you
Having fun means different things to different people. Make sure you don’t feel the pressure to have other people’s fun. This doesn’t make for a very happy festive period and can mean that you are not fully engaged. There will always be things we are not keen on doing, just make sure you create boundaries and even it out with things that YOU like to do
As always, Phoenix Running Group are on hand to help with this. Whether it’s a run, a chat, or come and engage with us over on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/stevenagephoenix. We’d love to see you there!
Have a great Christmas and happy new year to you all