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Tis the season

How to look after your mental and physical wellbeing this festive season

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With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the holidays can bring stress and loneliness for many people.

There’s pressure to socialise with friends and family, more temptation to overindulge in food and drink, and of course, the financial strain that presents and celebrations can put on your bank balance.

If you’re feeling lonely or down, remember that the festive period provides an ideal opportunity to talk to, visit or engage with the people around us. Connect with others and combat isolation by engaging with friends and family, or meet people at local community groups and/or organisations.

As well as taking a well-earned rest and treating yourself and loved ones, many of us may spend the festive period overindulging, stretching finances and remaining sedentary a little more than we probably should.

Remaining realistic about what can be achieved; appreciating what we already have; and being aware of the impact over indulgence can have is useful guidance.

Below are five top tips to help you optimise your physical and mental health:

  • Stay in touch with friends and family
  • Talk about your feelings and ask for help if you need it
  • Keep check of your finances
  • Try to eat and drink sensibly
  • Try to keep active – physical activity can benefit mental wellbeing. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help you relax, reduce anxiety and boost your mood.

Feeling First Class

The Feeling First Class website (organisation code FFC1 to register) is an online resource to support healthier living through access to mental, physical, financial and social health support content and tools. Visit www.feelingfirstclass.co.uk or download the app from iTunes or the Google Play store.

First Class Support helpline

The First Class Support helpline is completely confidential, independent and available 24/7. You can call 0800 688 8777 now if you would like to talk to someone about handling difficult conversations; for direct self-serve access to mental health support; and guidance on living a healthier lifestyle.

The Shout mental health text service is free and available 24/7 - text Shout to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained crisis volunteer.

For urgent support in a crisis: call the Samaritans on 116 123 (open 24/7) or in the case of a suicide or other emergency situation, ring 999, or 9999 from a Royal Mail landline.

Additional support

  • NHS One You – offers support to to help you make small changes that fit your life, so you feel better and healthier, every day
  • Mind – provides advice on managing your mental health this Christmas
  • Mental Health Foundation – provides advice and tips on ways to look after and manage your mental health leading up to and during the festive period
  • Heads Together – provides advice on coping with social anxiety.