It is, unquestionably, that time of year again. As soon as the pumpkins and cobwebs are removed from shop windows, they’re almost instantly replaced with baubles and tinsel. Christmas really isn’t that far away, and needless to say, the team here at Angelfish are super-excited for the festive season, and getting people who need extra money for their Christmas shopping on board with our variety of paid market research opportunities!
However, we know that there are those who find this time of year particularly hard, and for a great many reasons. For a start, the evenings are getting darker quicker, and the weather is increasingly drizzly and cold. This is unpleasant at the best of times, but for those with conditions such as Seasonal Affective Disorder, late autumn and winter can be a real downer. In fact, whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition or not, this time of year can put a lot of strain on a lot of people’s wellbeing; so we’ve put our heads together and come up with some ways you can look after your mental health this season!
Eat, drink, and be… well!
A healthy body equals a healthy mind, and there’s a lot you can do to stay on top this autumn/winter!
As a result of the cold, we all tend to eat quite a lot more this time of year – and we know all too well the kinds of indulgent treats we can find ourselves digging into during the festive season! So make sure you balance out the chocolates, cheeses and Christmas puds with some wholesome and hearty meals. All those vegetables will be a great boost for your immune system, too! And while you’re out shopping, bring along any in-date food that you don’t want to eat for the food bank; knowing that you’re making a contribution to those who might be less fortunate than you is a sure-fire way to lift your spirits, as well as somebody else’s!
The festivities also bring a lot of opportunities for celebratory drinks, whether with friends, family, or at your work’s Christmas party. Annoyingly, alcohol has actually been found to increase anxiety and stress rather than reduce them. Alcohol is also not great on the immune system, so make sure you stay well within your units to keep your mind happy and your body healthy. We have a fab blog on mocktails here to help you get through!
Get plenty of exercise
Exercise has been found to have amazing positive effects on people’s moods, so ensure you take the time to brave the cold and go to the gym whenever you can. If you need the extra money though, go for a quick jog or take a leisurely winter stroll instead – it’s free, and just as good for you! Just make sure you wear a high-vis jacket and take a torch if it’s dark.
Catch all the ZZZs
We all love a good party or night out, and they’re certainly in abundance at this time of year! The downside, however, is that you might not get home until late at night and miss out on sleep which – surprise surprise – is super-important for positive mental wellbeing! So perhaps trade in a party or two with a quieter daytime catch-up with friends and colleagues.
Relax and do the things you love
Research has found over and over again that people who engage in their hobbies and get creative have better or improved mental health, so when you have some time for yourself, fill it with doing the things you love! And if you don’t have a hobby? Find one! There are usually plenty of group activities, such as crafting, walking, book clubs and more that you can take part in. It’s a great way to meet new people too – and it doesn’t have to be expensive! Alternatively, if you prefer your own company, there are lots of things you can do by yourself.
Stay in touch with people
For many, this time of year is especially tough as they might not have family members to spend it with. Loneliness can have a hugely negative impact on people’s mental health; however, there are lots of different ways you can keep in contact with people over the season; for example, finding group hobbies as we talked about above, or arranging meet-ups. Perhaps you could even organise some nice things to do at lunchtime with your colleagues!
And never be afraid to reach out to people when you’re in need. You never know, someone else may be in the same boat as you!
Don’t feel the need to spend a fortune – and find ways to make extra money!
There’s an enormous amount of pressure on people to spend as much money as possible this time of year. Money worries can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing – but you really don’t have to spend a fortune to have a good time! The ideas of things to do we mentioned above aren’t exhaustive – we have plenty more in the blogs on our website! On the flip side, if you do need extra money to cater for your needs at this time of year, taking part in paid market research is a great way to do it. It’s also a great way to meet new people, and contribute your thoughts on the brands you like shopping during the festive season! We have a number of different projects going on at the moment with cash and vouchers on offer as a thank you for taking part, so make sure you take a look!