What are Festive Blues?

It’s finally come time to admit it: I suffer from festive blues.

By no means am I saying that I’m a Scrooge shouting Bah Humbug at carol singers or at children skipping on their merry way to a nativity play.

However around Christmas I do become more depressed and far more snappy with people. No matter how much I want to be on my own sometimes, I believe we should be more open with how we are feeling during this time of year because it’s a good reminder that we aren’t alone and these feelings are only temporary.

What are the festive blues:

The holiday season can trigger depression or depression-like symptoms for a number of reasons:

  • economic circumstances,
  • stress,
  • life situation (break up, death of a loved one),
  • family dysfunction,
  • less sunlight,
  • Unrealistic expectations (comparing self to others)
  • Alcohol intake
  • change in diet and routine etc.

I think it’s key to remember that a lot more people are affected during the festive season than we realise. None of us are alone in these feelings but we all have our individual ways of coping.

Symptoms:

  • Feelings of loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Sadness
  • Tension
  • Lashing out
  • Sense of loss
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of being left out

The cause of my festive blues:

This is going to make me sound like a total millennial but the major cause for my holiday blues is:

  • having very high expectations for the picture-perfect festive season and comparing my Christmas to previous years and to others.

When reality inevitably doesn’t meet my expectations, I inevitably don’t feel good. Nothing will ever be good enough.

How to combat festive blues:

  • Try and stay in the present- turn off your phone and stop comparing
  • Have some alone time- don’t isolate yourself but remember to look after yourself especially if you are burning the candle at both ends
  • Don’t compare your insides to another person’s outsides
  • Set an end of year goal
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Give back
  • Plan a getaway
  • Speak to someone
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Exercise
  • Set reasonable expectations for the holiday season
  • Delete instagram temporarily

Have you experienced Festive Blues? How did you combat it?

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Week 2 of the #MHchallenge recap: how to find time in your busy day

I’m going to be perfectly honest here… I haven’t done any of the challenges in the #MHchallenge last week. I didn’t even try. My mind is focused on work and I currently don’t have the time at the moment to even try and focus on something else. Mainly because by the time I get home I’m exhausted. I genuinely didn’t even have the energy to write this I just forced myself.

Can someone tell me how you find time to do things for yourself when the majority of your day is spent at work?

So how do you find time in your day when you’re busy: well the only answer I’ve got so far is… you don’t.

However I will try this week (and I mean actually try) to make an effort and do the daily challenges because they won’t make me feel worse it’s just finding the time to do it. And I’m more than positive I have the time. I just need to get off my arse and do something rather than nothing. Which is easier said than done for me. Because I’m a very lethargic individual- I always have been.

My goals for week 3:

  • To actually do some of the challenges
  • Walk 5,000 steps
  • Actually go to the gym at least once
  • Eat healthily
  • Meal prep at least once this week- as I’m spending too much money on food from M&S and Sainsbury’s these past few weeks
  • Finally send back the things I’ve needed to return for the past 3 weeks

Day 8 of the #MHchallenge

This week has been a challenging but enlightening one, it quickly turned into an all round shit show but at least the week ended on a good note with a haircut and dye. But it has taught me a few things about coming in to week two so here are my goals for the upcoming week:

  • Walk 10,000 5,000 steps a day (my goal of 10,000 steps a day last week was just completely unrealistic so I thought I’d start conservatively and then work my way up)
  • Go to the gym 3 times this week
  • Eat more healthily
  • Blog every day once a week (I found blogging every single day too much hard work especially when I was tired hence why I didn’t manage to blog everyday, so it’ll be easier for me to consolidate it all into one blog post)

What day is it again?

#MHchallenge

This really couldn’t be going any worse for me. Yesterday I had to leave work early because I had one of the worst migraines I’ve had in a very long while. It was so bad that I almost threw up several times on the way home. So I left work at 4pm. Got home at 6pm. Fell asleep at 7pm. Woke up at 6am. To be honest this was the first time I’ve woken up and felt well rested but that might be due to getting over 10 hours sleep.

Luckily my migraine wasn’t there when I woke up but I’ve just felt a bit weak and sick for the majority of the day.

To be honest, I hate that my adherence to the #MHchallenge has been shockingly shit but eh shit happens.

I’m on my way back home from work now and I will get myself a KFC and will watch a few episodes of Peep Show and then will go to bed as I have to get up reasonably early tomorrow and I’m already pretty tired.

Day 3 of #MHchallenge: what to do if you’re having a bad day

I succeeded in detoxing from social media for the majority of last night. I would out of habit click on to an app but then I’d consciously tell myself no and would close it again! I will try to do this more often as this is a good habit to get into.

But today I’m just having one of those days where everything doesn’t go right. Since 11am I’ve had a migraine and no pain relievers have worked. None of the people I was trying to speak were in so it just felt like a waste of a day. That’s the wonders of working in sales though. Sometimes you’ll have good days and sometimes you’ll have bad. Just trying to work my arse off to smash my quota and prove myself at this company purely for my own pride. I’ve realised that I love being complimented by people on things that I’ve done well. It’s one of the things that really keeps me going. And it really helps when even if you’re having a subjectively bad day people are reminding you of all the things that went well. Also is it just me or does it feel like autumn is already here? Like suddenly it’s all cold and breezy!? Waiting for those leaves to start falling so I can get out my autumnal themed candles and start planning for Halloween.

Day 3 of the #MHchallenge clearly could have gone a little better however I didn’t allow myself to give up and just go to bed as soon as I got home (although I was really tempted to). I ate my dinner and then I decided to do something that I’ve been putting off for ages.

So today I made: Soap

I bought myself a soap making kit last month because I like making things and it tends to help me feel better but I never got around to doing anything with it. So clearly this was a good excuses to get stuck in and just do it. The kit came with everything fragrances, dried flowers, dye, soap base, bees wax, and honey. It was pretty good for a beginner however I next time I will just buy my own supplies and make it up as I go along as I think I will enjoy it money doing it like that rather than following it like a recipe. I will upload a picture tomorrow of what they look like set and out of the moulds.

Do you have any recommendations on what I could make next? Or your favourite soap making combinations? What do you do to make yourself feel better after having a bad day?

Day 2 of the #MHchallenge and why I hate commuting

Today was my first day back at work since my holiday and being unwell.

All in all it went well, it went pretty quickly and I got a fair amount done which is good. However spending the majority of my time on the phone has knackered me out. So I’m currently sitting on the train home trying to not fall asleep on a strangers lap (my commute is 1h30 mins… insert eye roll here).

I used to listen to a lot of audio books on my commute however recently I haven’t seen any that really grab my eye that I’d want to listen to so am hating my commute. Do any of you have any suggestions about what audiobooks I should listen to? I like a wide spectrum of things so I’m happy to take any suggestions you may have.

Now back to day 2 of the #MHchallenge… i always find that I will be scrolling through Instagram and watching pointless videos just before I go to bed. So this evening once I get in I’m not going to go on any social media. This included! Because I spend far too much of my time just mindlessly scrolling and I think detoxing for a day isn’t possible at the moment. It’s bad I know.

I am looking forward to tomorrow where I get to create something as I find things like that always make me feel better!

Day 1 of #MHchallenge couldn’t have gone any worse

So last night I went up to my room an hour early so I could put a face mask on, shower, and moisturise before bed so I was feeling super relaxed for my first day back at work since my holiday. I won’t lie, I’m feeling pretty good. Happy. Relaxed. Ready for the day to begin. I actually enjoy my job so it doesn’t even feel like I’m working or I have to force myself to get up.

This morning, however, I wake up at 6.30am with my alarm and something doesn’t feel right. My stomach is in agony and I feel like I’m about to be sick if I move an inch. Long story short I’ve caught a stomach bug that’s been going around so have had to take a day off of work.

So it looks like I’m not going to hit any of my goals for the first day of #MHchallenge. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I was doing this to feel better within myself and no amount of beating myself up about this will make me feel better. In fact it will achieve the opposite.

For the rest of the day I will relax in front of the TV with a cup of tea and hope I feel better to start Day 2 tomorrow.

If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want. – Richard Yates