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Look after your mental health this Christmas

Phoebe Simcock, 15th Dec 2021
Tags: Life Blog Christmas Mental health

Christmas can be a difficult time because it comes with the expectancy of being full of joy, but sometimes lashings of tinsel and ‘Home Alone’ aren’t enough to make you feel this way.  

Here are some tips that may be helpful to you over Christmas.

People hugging in front of the Christmas tree

Remember it is just a day. Christmas may feel like forever because it’s such a big event each year, but it is only one day where the world does feel like it sort of stops. If we treat Christmas as 24 hours and some of that is sleep, it can seem a lot less daunting.  

If spending time with your family can sometimes feel like a knock for your mental health, try choosing a gift that helps you to escape such as a new book or a game. If they’ve bought it for you they’ll probably be pleased to see you use it, and this can also help you find some sanctuary.  

Christmas Day brings a lot of big life questions from relatives.

If Christmas Day brings a lot of big life questions from relatives that you know will set you back, try tackling these with an early joke displaying the information or make light conversation that avoids the subject. Don’t let it bring you down.  

Christmas can feel like a financial nightmare, that’s because it is. In some cases families can’t afford a big Christmas and this can feel disheartening. But making your own fun with handmade games and a Christmassy walk can be even more magical if you’re around those that you love.  

Christmas lights and a man

Linking to the above tip, if you’re struggling with the idea of missing out, then social media is the worst place to look. Everyone will be posting about their day and only posting the best bits, so don’t compare days and focus on enjoying or dealing with the day in your own way.

Be honest. Okay, this is a hard one and a little bold of me to assume it’s always possible. But if it is, use it. Tell your family before the big party that you’re dreading it, or admit that you can’t deal with the social side of Christmas this year. Let them into your head.  

Use the full stomach excuse and hide away for a bit. If it helps you.

Use Christmas as an excuse, everyone else does! You constantly hear Christmas being an excuse to eat more, sleep more, watch TV specials and see friends. Why not do the same? If you fancy a sleep, use the full stomach excuse and hide away for a bit. If it helps you, do it.  

If you struggle with the lack of routine at Christmas, make a chart and plan your day to suit you. There’s no harm in asking family what time you’re eating and what time you’re seeing extended family, and with those details you can plan for anything that may trigger you.  

Santa on the beach

Sometimes seasonal affective disorder can really bring down your mood in winter months, if this is the case over the Christmas period, use the day to plan out some great summer plans with your friends or a new hobby you can’t wait to try. Summer will be on its way soon!  

Justify your emotions to yourself, even if others don’t understand. Just because everyone around you is loving Christmas, doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t valid. Some of the guests may hate being alone and you may love it, not everyone is the same even at Christmas.

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