December promises a month of excitement, #Christmas shopping and finalising work tasks before the festive break, but sometimes you can forget to #Unwind and have some me-time. In the age of smartphones, we are all vulnerable to checking work emails and keeping up-to-date with the outside world but it is now time to put the gadgets away and focus on yourself and your family this season.

Engross in a good book

Why not add your favourite classic or a new bestselling novel to your Christmas list? According to studies at University of Sussex, reading for just six minutes reduces stress levels by 68%, leading to a calmer and healthier you.

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Instead of flicking through social media while laying in bed; put your phone to one side and open your favourite book. It calms and relaxes you, naturally sending you to sleep.

Get bubbly in the bath (assisted with an optional glass of bubbly)

As the short days draw to a close and the temperature drops, a warm bubble bath is like music to your ears. There must be a bath bomb hidden in your bathroom cupboard from one of last year’s Christmas presents, so why not pop that in to add to the fizz?

Exercise

Now that the schools and offices have closed for Christmas, it’s time to start those fitness classes that you promised yourself you would sign up for last January. A visit to a local yoga class with a friend could be exactly what you need to unwind from a hectic year.

Or, if you feel brave enough to bare the elements, throw on your running shoes to explore the local rural spots with your running partner or pet.

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It’s surprising how a little fresh air clears your mind.

Festive carols and Christmas markets

As it is a month of festive celebrations, why not put on a woolly hat and take the family along to a carol service in your local community. Singing and escaping into the festive spirit can help you unwind from the everyday stress of your busy life.

Say farewell to your beloved IPhone

Lastly and most importantly, take a break from your gadgets. Constant beeps and endless notifications disrupt your sleep and essential time that is better spent with your loved ones in this season. Why not dust off an old board game from the cupboard and put your family’s creative skills to test with Pictionary? A little laughter can ease any worries and help you relax.

The high expectations of working hard, doing your best to support your family and sticking to social commitments often prevent us from getting the most out of our lives. Whether it’s once a day or once a month, ensure that you are doing something solely for yourself. #mental health