In Part 2 of our series of mental health hacks to help you this Christmas, we look at what you can do to improve your personal awareness, the stressors that affect you, and the physical and psychological impact they have on you. Learning and awareness are key parts of improving your overall mental health, and crucial in working towards a positive mindset.
But first, how did you fare with our mental health hacks in Part 1? Have you created some structure to help you manage the feelings of overwhelm and diminishing productivity? Take a look at Part 1 here
Mental Health Hacks for Improving Personal Awareness
1. Identify & understand what affects you
Are you really aware of what causes you stress and increases feelings of anxiety? There are many things that can. Common stressors over Christmas can be money worries, family relationships, and worrying about providing the perfect Christmas. But there can often be things that are mixed up in confusing thoughts that combine to produce a tangle of confusion. Can you give yourself time to relax and consider what some of these things are and start to untangle them? There could be one or two, or there could be many. How you process this information will depend very much on you, but the key is to treat it as a positive exercise and learn from it.
2. Learn to understand the effects of stress and anxiety on your mind and body
Stress can affect the human body and mind in different ways, and no one person will have the same experiences. Take a look at our blog on the subject. How do you feel when you are stressed or anxious? Do you feel overwhelmed, or exhausted, or something else? Learn and understand what the signs are. If you can understand what the effects of stress on you are, you will be better able to take steps to manage stress when it impacts you.
3. Learn to understand your thoughts and emotions
This is no mean task because it is completely subjective and relies on you developing your personal awareness. But can you learn to understand why you feel the way you do? What is it that might cause you fear, or anger, or anxiety? When you next have a negative thought or emotion, consider it. Treat it like an entity. Can you learn from it? Allow it to take you back to where it began. What was the trigger? Can you link it to the particular event that started it? What can you learn from this, and how can you manage that emotion in the future if you understand what causes it?
4. Be aware that you’re not alone
This is a really simple concept, but one that is often a hard lesson to learn. There are very many people who will have similar feelings to you. Be aware that you aren’t unique in this respect, and that other people struggle too. How does that make you feel? Relieved perhaps? And more able to ask for help? Loneliness, whether real or perceived, is a major contributor to poor mental health and is even more acute during the holiday season.
12 Mental Health Hacks for the Christmas Season: Part 3
In the final blog in our series, we’ll look at what you can do to manage your thoughts and emotions. We’ll show you some tips that you can apply to what you have learned so far.
And here’s a final thought for this blog. How does your mobile phone affect your life? Get your shoes on and go out for a walk. And leave your phone at home. Think about how you felt during your walk when you get back. Food for thought!