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Seasonal fatigue – how to manage the festive season

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”… except it’s not for everyone.

It’s a busy time for many and it can leave us all feeling a bit overwhelmed, overtired, or generally feeling burnt out.

Typically, we’re all indoors more too – meaning we’re getting less natural sunlight and our bodies are producing more melatonin (the sleep hormone), which can increase feelings of fatigue as well.

Where possible, it’s a good idea to take some time out and to look after your physical and mental health.

It can be easy to dismiss self-care as a self-indulgence, but looking after your own wellbeing means you can continue to enjoy the festive season, and look after others too.

We asked the NHS Talking Therapies, Kent and Medway therapists about how to best manage symptoms of seasonal fatigue leading up to and during the festive season:

  • Eat and drink mindfully
    Enjoy the quality of your Christmas food and drink, rather than the quantity! Take time to notice the smell, taste, and flavour of your favourite seasonal treats.
  • Spread some festive cheer
    Be mindful of how you interact with colleagues, friends, family, neighbours, and strangers. Make a conscious choice to be kind and compassionate, as Christmas can be a difficult time for many people, for all kinds of reasons.
  • Appreciate the atmosphere
    Take time to focus your attention on the unique sights, sounds, and smells of the festive season. This helps you to mindfully stay in the here-and-now.
  • Volunteer your time
    Helping others during what can be a difficult time of year can be very rewarding, and can bring a sense of enjoyment far greater than physical gifts.
  • Ask for help
    If you’re struggling to manage, don’t be afraid to ask willing friends, family, or neighbours to lend a hand.
  • Remember, it’s okay not to feel okay
    There can be a lot of pressure to look or act a certain way over the festive period. Keep in mind that it’s okay to feel how you feel. Try to focus on the positive aspects of your experience.

If you’re finding things a struggle at the moment, as many people are, please don’t struggle alone.

The NHS Talking Therapies, Kent and Medway hub can help you manage how you’re feeling and help you get access to your nearest talking therapy service in Kent and Medway.

seasonal fatigue

Published date:

15th December 2022

In partnership with:

Jo Armstrong

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