Much like the rest of 2020, the Christmas period is likely to be an unusual one. With international travel and large public gatherings off the cards, it’s the time to appreciate the things we do have and make the most of the time we have with the ones we love.
Our team of psychologists have put together some ideas on how to make Christmas feel special this year and how to thrive in this ‘new normal,’ despite the challenges we’ve faced throughout 2020.
1. Be kind
Christmas can be a stressful time for parents whilst they are organising, prepping and looking after everyone and, for some, the added financial strains of this year can make it even more daunting.
At this busy time of year, it is important to remember to be kind to yourself as well as others. Allow yourself moments to slow down and be mindful, taking in what’s going on around you. Doing this helps us calm our minds and relax our bodies, both of which are essential for mental and physical wellbeing.
2. Get creative
As many people enjoy a longer period of time away from work over Christmas use this time to get creative with your children. Why not try making homemade Christmas cards or building a gingerbread houses? You could even write letters to the loved ones you won’t be spending Christmas with this year. Creativity is a great way to promote happy hormones and a fun way to do mindful activities as a family.
3. Remember to switch off
As important as connection is during this time in order to maintain contact with family and friends via Facetime, Zoom and Skype. It is important to remember to put down your phone, have some time away from social media so you can switch off and relax.
It is more important than ever to be present with the people you do have around you - your presence around them is the greatest gift you can give this year. Perhaps you could have a Zoom call with your wider family members on Christmas morning, wherever they are in the world, but making sure to put all devices away while you sit down to enjoy your Christmas dinner enabling you all to be present and enjoy the magic of Christmas.
4. Take time to relax
Christmas is a time of celebration but also a time for you to relax. Make sure you take the slow route on your walk to the coffee shop, enjoy a long summer day at the beach and savour the quality time together BBQing and eating delicious food.
Make sure you carve time for yourself, relax and enjoy the festive atmosphere despite perhaps being away from the ones you love this year. You could listen to a guided meditation on the Smiling Mind app to help appreciate the moment and what you have around you, rather than focussing on what may be missing this year. Taking time out of your day for your mind and body can help improve your mood and mindset this festive season.
5. Celebrate the little things
Stay positive and put all your energy in being grateful for what you have around you this year. It’s important to celebrate the little things during this time, get excited about decorating your Christmas tree, take a walk around the block to see your neighbours Christmas lights and enjoy singing Christmas carols - perhaps in your front yard this year rather than in a large group setting. Remember to get outside in nature and enjoy the moment you are living in. Celebrating however we can is so important this year.
Want to teach your kids about the importance of gratitude this Christmas? Our children’s new book, The Thank You Present is the perfect gift for the little ones in your life! Click here to learn more and purchase.
We hope these tips have given you some ideas to make the Holiday period feel special. For further activities to support children who may be feeling worried and anxious, or as a support for proactive positive mental health download our free Digital Care Packs.