Christmas wellbeing tips

Managing your wellbeing over the festive period has never been more important. Christmas is a naturally busy season… and an expensive one. So it’s no wonder so many of us find it a stressful time.

Understanding the five pillars of wellbeing and how to cope during times of stress can help you to make the most of the festive period. It can be a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the people you love, so try not to allow the stress to mount up to the point it spoils Christmas.

Reducing stress at Christmas

Christmas is a jolly stressful time of year, but it shouldn’t be. There’s loads to enjoy about Christmas: chance to spend quality time with family, heart-warming TV specials, piles of presents, lots of great food… yet every aspect of the season seems to involve extreme organisation and dipping your hand into your pocket again and again.

Before you can get started putting plans in place to avoid festive stress, you need to think about what’s causing your anxiety. Do you have money worries, are you concerned about over-indulging and regretting it later, or does a jam-packed social calendar send your anxiety spiralling? Write down your top 5 festive worries and categorise them into the different pillars of wellbeing. You’ll soon discover which area is causing you the most stress so you can then seek out specific ways to combat it.

Christmas can be an expensive time of year and sometimes unavoidable big purchases can add extra pressure to our finances. It might not be possible to pay for unexpected car repairs or boiler trouble outright, but a small loan could help to spread the costs.

We don’t recommend getting a loan to pay for usual festive purchases but for unexpected larger purchases, such as a new car or a home improvement loan to pay for any winter-proofing renovations, a loan could be an appropriate option.

Managing the five pillars of wellbeing over Christmas

The five pillars of wellbeing are: emotional, physical, social, professional, and financial. Each pillar works together to create an overall sense of wellbeing.


Enjoying life and feeling a sense of purpose is a sign of good mental wellbeing. It’s easy for the stress of the season to impede our emotional wellbeing as we gradually start to worry about a seemingly infinite to-do list. But there are plenty of ways to keep that stress under control and get your emotional wellbeing back on track.

If you’re wondering how to look after your mental health at Christmas, make a start by following our festive advice:

  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the quality of being present, aware, and fully engaged with whatever we are doing in the moment. By feeling more aware of your thoughts and feelings, but without getting too caught up in them, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the festivities.
  • Think about festive stress from another angle. If you struggle to cope with holiday stress, why not reframe how you think about certain experiences? Try to put a positive slant on the situation you find yourself in, and you’ll soon start to view things differently.
  • Reach out for support. If things get too much over the festive period, ask for the help you need. You may feel better opening up to friends or family about your concerns and struggles, or you might need professional support. There are plenty of helplines and resources available so keep these bookmarked so you know where to find them.


Physical wellbeing can be improved by leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Being in pain, experiencing fatigue or feeling the effects of a poor diet and overindulgence can lead to negative physical wellbeing. Whilst some aspects of your physical health, such as pain, can be tricky to manage it’s possible to stay in control over your diet, drinking habits, sleep, and physical exercise. And it’s particularly important to keep this in mind throughout the festivities.

Trying to stay healthy over Christmas? Take a look at these tips:

  • Set yourself reasonable limits. If you have a ‘cap’ on the number of drinks or unhealthy snacks you’ll consume, you will be less likely to overindulge. Telling yourself ‘oh go on then, it’s Christmas’ could set your health goals back so keep your festive season merry (but not too merry) by sticking to your limit.
  • Set a sleep routine. A lack of sleep can cause physical symptoms such as lethargy, and it can also affect your mood and make you feel irritable and anxious. One more episode of the latest Netflix binge might seem like a good idea but don’t miss out on some much-needed kip by staying up way past your bedtime!
  • Experiment with exercise. Long countryside strolls in the fog and snow might not leave you with a festive glow, so try to find a new type of physical exercise to enjoy. There are loads of options, from Pilates to Zumba or even a classic workout at the gym. Experiment with a few different activities to find one that’ll keep you motivated over the colder months.
  • Mind your vices. If you have past problems with smoking or drinking, Christmas can be a challenging season and it’s hard not to fall back into unhealthy habits. Ask a friend to be a buddy so you can both look out for each other and share your stresses which will help you to feel more in control. Drinkaware has plenty of additional advice to help you make the most of Christmas without getting carried away.


Positive interactions with those around us contribute to a sense of social wellness. Managing social situations can feel more like just juggling a calendar, particularly at this time of year. Knowing how to nurture your relationships — including the relationship you have with yourself — should help to give you the energy you need to enjoy the festivities.

Our top tips for managing social wellbeing over Christmas are:

  • Avoid social comparisons. Whilst comparing yourself to other people can sometimes motivate and inspire, you should be wary of comparing yourself to people you see on social media. Social media is often not representative of real life, so try not to feel you have to ‘Keep Up With The Joneses’ and end up spending more than you can afford trying to replicate social media trends.
  • Say no to social occasions when you want to. Don’t feel obliged to accept every social invitation if you suffer from social anxiety or simply need some alone time. Put yourself first and only say yes to events or social activities you think you’ll enjoy.
  • Seek out volunteering opportunities. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself feeling lonely over the festive period why not offer your time to a voluntary organisation? You’ll be giving back to the community whilst also enjoying the company of others over Christmas. Mind offers additional advice on managing loneliness.
  • Limit exposure to social media. Enjoy spending quality time with your loved ones away from a screen. The average UK adult now spends around five hours per day staring at a screen — and that’s in addition to any screen-related work! Avoid screen fatigue by mindfully switching off your devices for a few hours each day. If you feel drastic measures are needed to truly switch off, a digital detox could be just what you need — and what better time to do it than over the festive season when your family are gathered together?


It’s a well-known stat that we spend over a third of our life at work. Feeling job satisfaction, and empowered to do your best whilst at work, can contribute to achieving workplace wellbeing.

As the festive season ramps up, workers are starting to feel the strain. Colleagues are on holiday, it’s Christmas party season and end-of-year deadlines are looming.

These tips might help to improve workplace wellness this Christmas:

  • Have a meeting-free afternoon. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work in the run-up to the holidays, maximise your productivity by blocking out some ‘you’ time to crack on with priority tasks. No one likes having to break off mid-task for a meeting that could have just been an email!
  • Refresh your routine. If your workplace offers flexible or hybrid working arrangements, why not start a little bit earlier and plan to spend your evening Christmas shopping, or head into the office and arrange Friday night festivities with colleagues? A change in routine can help freshen up your week.
  • Find the right environment for you. You might love being part of a vibrant, Christmassy office environment or you might find bright lights and garish decorations a bit overwhelming. Where possible, try to work in an environment that helps you to feel relaxed.
  • Arrange inclusive activities. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and many people may not want to feel pressured into drinking over the festive season. Arrange alcohol-free activities, such as an office games night or escape room, to avoid workplace drinking culture spoiling the celebrations for colleagues.


According to YouGov, over a quarter of us feel stressed about the festive season. The financial impact of Christmas is one of the main causes of anxiety, as 45% of people worry about the cost of Christmas presents.

Financial wellbeing can be achieved if you feel as though you have enough money to live adequately, and feel able to make independent, sound financial decisions. With the cost of Christmas mounting up quicker than the pile of presents under the tree, it can be tricky to achieve financial wellness over the festive season.

Our expert tips will help you to stay on top of your festive finances:

  • Set yourself a strict spending limit. Agree a set budget for presents with your friends and family and make sure you all stick to it. This way, you can manage your outgoings and ensure you stay within budget — avoiding any worry about overspending.
  • Buy gifts throughout the year. This’ll help you to spread the cost whilst also looking out for deals and offers. Our top tips for bagging a bargain on Black Friday will help you make the most of the sales, too.
  • Choose thoughtful festive gifts. You don’t need to break the bank to find personal, unique Christmas presents.
  • Make a bit of extra cash for Christmas by turning your hobby into a side hustle. Whether you’re a writer, an artist or a fitness fanatic, there are many ways to top up your bank account by making the most of your skills. Check out our guide on hobbies that pay for extra inspiration.
  • Ask for help if you need it. If you’re one of our customers and find yourself facing financial difficulties, we have a number of different options available to you. Read our FAQs or contact our team.

If you’re saving up for a big purchase, such as a white wedding or a festive proposal, a personal loan could be just what you need. Spreading the cost over a longer period of time is a great way to help you manage your outgoings if you don’t have enough in your savings to buy the item you need just yet. Remember to only take out a loan if you’re confident you can afford the monthly repayments — read our blog post to find out everything you need to know about our personal loans.

To find out how much you could potentially borrow, use our loan calculator to get a quote.


Written by

Stephanie Reid

Stephanie Reid is a financial services expert with over eight years of experience writing money-saving articles at Novuna Personal Finance. She has written hundreds of articles on a variety of topics including interior design, home improvements and weddings - with a keen eye for spotting money-saving opportunities and passing these tips onto readers. As a mum of two, Stephanie knows how important budgeting effectively is for parents and often incorporates family budgeting tips into her guides.

Thursday 7th December 2023

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