Maddie Bruce offers some advice on how to take care of our mental health this holiday season.
Despite how festive it makes us feel, Christmas can be a stressful time. While there’s numerous activities and lots of festive decorations, there’s also this unseen and often unspoken pressure to make sure everything goes perfectly. This can affect our mental health is more ways than we think, therefore impacting how much we enjoy the holiday season.
Maddie is quite open with her viewers regarding her struggles with mental health and through her Mental Health Mondays series offers invaluable insight and advice. In her latest video, she offers up five tips on how to ensure this Christmas doesn’t have a negative affect on our mental health.
The first tip Maddie shares is to avoid unhelpful comparisons. As she says, “Comparing ourselves with other people and what other people are doing around this festive season can have such a huge affect on how we feel.” It’s easy to compare our lives to those we see on television and social media, and Maddie herself feels this pressure given her presence on YouTube. What she reminds us is that we don’t know what’s going on behind the camera or what was happening before a photo was taken, so we need to live in the moment and do things for ourselves.
In the same vain, she reminds us to keep our expectations realistic during this time of year. Mental health doesn’t understand it’s Christmas, so we shouldn’t expect to feel happy just because it’s that time of year, “You do not have to be happy just because it’s Christmas.” To expect ourselves to be so can leave us feeling overwhelmed. To help ground ourselves during the holidays, Maddie emphasises putting ourselves first and reminding ourselves that things will go wrong and there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s just life.
Maddie’s third tip is to plan some downtime. As she explains, “I find that overdoing things and doing all these activities and stressing yourself out and finding presents for people can leave us very burnt out and stressed,” so we should remember to be mindful and take things in moderation. As well, she says to make time for activities we enjoy, such as listening to music and reading.
If we’re feeling up for it, Maddie advocates taking some time out to help those less fortunate than us. While suffering from negative mental health can make thinking of others difficult, which Maddie states is okay, it’s also proven that helping others helps us. So take some time out to volunteer your time or donate, but also don’t pressure yourself to do anything you don’t feel up to doing.
The final tip Maddie shares is to speak about how we feel to those we trust, “I don’t think you should be afraid to speak to your family and friends.” Oftentimes, negative mental health makes us believe we’re the only ones who feel this way, which isn’t true, so remember to reach out or contact a helpline. There’s support for those who need it.
For those worried about the upcoming holiday season, these tips are definitely a surefire way to help make things a little less stressful and a lot more enjoyable! We want to thank Maddie for the great advice.
The People We Meet recently highlighted Belfast’s incredible food scene! Alternatively, you could check out Sanne Vliegenthart‘s tips for freelancers.
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