The run up to Christmas this year is truly like no other. London has been plunged from the comparative ‘freedom’ of Tier 2 into the near lockdown conditions of Tier 4, disrupting many peoples’ plans for celebrations.
This has raised real concerns about the potential impact on mental health. Many have planned and looked forward to Christmas as a special opportunity to meet loved ones, but are now facing a much smaller event. Travel restrictions and social mixing limitations are designed to reduce human contact, but that can be devastating mentally.
12 health tips for COVID Christmas
The following tips have been compiled from a number of sources to provide some suggestions that might help you cope with the challenging circumstances:
- Review expectations – Have a think about what you want and a clear open discussion with others – those you are spending Christmas with and those you’d hoped to spend it with. There is likely to be some compromises required, but working it out in advance will help avoid difficulties on the day
- Plan to be quieter – If you’re now a smaller group, just dial back the catering and shopping so that you an enjoy relaxing a bit more. Make the most of there being less pressure on you for once
- Alcohol – Don’t be tempted to drown your sorrows, excess alcohol often ends in dehydration, headaches or hangovers and irritability that can put a strain on relationships
- Watch the calories – A typical Christmas Day adds up to about 6,000 calories, so can easily leave you feeling bloated and guilty. Limit the portion sizes especially with roasties, puddings and cheese – try to fill up on veg instead
- Hydrate – Drinking water helps the body to function and also reduces hunger to prevent overeating
- Keep active – Plan a daily walk outdoors for a change of scenery and to burn off calories as well
- Get enough sleep – Sleep is a great mood-booster. It helps you feel positive and relaxed. The parties are cancelled, so make the most of a few early nights
- Hands, face, space – Stick with the guidelines to reduce risk of catching or passing on coronavirus. Stay safe and stay well
- Online contact – Schedule a few video calls to see your loved ones via facetime/zoom etc. You’ll feel better knowing you’re going to see each other but agreeing a time in advance helps you to plan it in
- Openness – Do share your feelings if you’re struggling. You may be feeling angry or depressed. It’s important to reach out to someone, whether that’s friends and family or a medical expert (GP etc). You can contact us here during Christmas & New Year opening hours
- Review your routine – If you want to stick with your normal customs and traditions, see how you can adapt them. Many churches are broadcasting online, as are carol and music concerts. It won’t be the same but you may feel better if you’re not completely missing your normal Christmas routine. Equally you may think it an opportunity to change – pause your normal activities for a year and rewrite the rules!
- ‘Nesting’ – Spend a little time and effort on your home environment. Making it clean and adding some new decorations can help you feel more positive about spending time indoors
- Treats and activities – Plan a few special activities to pull the household together (or do online if you’re on your own). For example, a games night with special snacks, a movie afternoon with home made popcorn, a craft session or a new jigsaw. Any of these could give you something else to think about
- Embrace the change – Try to find the ‘silver lining’. Look for the positives rather than dwelling on what cannot be.
It’s not ideal but hopefully these tips will help. We have to remember that by reducing the spread of the virus we hope that 2021 can really be a Christmas with no limits!
The Smart Clinics
The Smart Clinics was founded in 2013 and is an independent and doctor-managed company with a genuine commitment to quality healthcare at the heart of the business. The company is best known for its unique membership based private GP service with access to a friendly team of experienced doctors, which entitles individuals, families and corporate members to unlimited GP access for a monthly fee. Private dentistry is also available as an optional extra.
For more information contact us on email@example.com or call 020 7052 0070.