December can be delightful, and such a relief to get to the end of the year! Although it’s a festive time, it’s not always fun. It can be stressful and strained, and our mental health is often challenged as we head towards the holidays.

It’s been a big couple of years with all the challenges that COVID has brought, but life didn’t quite slow down in the way we thought it might. We’ve all continued on with the ‘new normal’, with additional layers of complexity, and we are now about to enter a new time here in Queensland, as the borders open.

Many folks who were cruising along OK, may have found themselves not coping as well as they usually would, and some who have known the difficulties of mental health, have seen these increase. This is why it’s more important than ever that we learn ways to look after our minds.

Our team at the Recovery and Discovery Centre put together a list of five tips to protect and nurture ourselves – not just in hard times, but everyday activities that can strengthen our emotional and physical wellbeing.

    Moving our bodies is one of the best ways to relax and take care of ourselves. Physical exercise reduces levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin, and stimulates production of endorphins – a natural painkiller and mood elevator.
    Our bodies crave routine! Focusing on consistent rituals increases our ability to deal with the physical aspects of stress. When stressful situations leave us feeling powerless, following a routine allows us to take control over some aspects of our life.
    Vitamin D from sunlight may elevate your levels of feel-good serotonin. Stopping to take in the sights, sounds and smells around us redirects focus from our worries.
    Some things are simply beyond our control, and we have to learn to cope with and accept them. Fortunately, we do have control over how we respond to stressful situations, and with practice, it gets easier to accept that which we cannot change.
    Taking long deep breaths can help calm the body and mind, and gives us something to focus on when our thoughts are feeling out of control.

We hope these little tips help you make it through to the holidays.

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
– The Communify Team