We’ve put together some tips to help you stay well over Christmas.
Whether or not Christmas is part of your life, your mental health might be affected by it happening around you. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us, and can affect our mental health in lots of different ways. For example, you may feel alone or left out, wish you didn’t have to deal with Christmas because of other events in your life or feel frustrated by other people’s views of a ‘perfect’ Christmas.
Your mental health might also make it hard for you to spend Christmas how you want and it may be harder to access services that normally help you.
Tips for coping during Christmas
If you find Christmas a difficult time of year, here are some tips to help you get through it:
It’s ok to prioritise what’s best for you, even if others don’t seem to understand,
- Think about what you need and how you might be able to get it.
- Consider talking to someone you trust about what you need to cope.
Think about what might be difficult about Christmas for you, and if there’s anything that might help you cope. It might be useful to write this down. For example,
- Make a note of what helps during difficult moments and services that can help too.
- If you’re going to be somewhere unfamiliar for Christmas, think about what you need to help you cope. Could you plan to spend less time in difficult places, or not go at all?
- Also, think about whether you really need to do things if you’re not looking forward to them.
- Maybe plan something nice to do after Christmas to look forward to.
- If people’s questions are difficult, you could plan some answers in advance so you’re not caught off guard. For example, about your plans or how you’re doing.
- Think about how to end difficult conversations. It’s ok to tell someone you don’t want to talk about something.
- Suggest an activity or an easy way to move on, if you want to help end an unwanted conversation.
- If other people don’t seem to understand how you’re feeling, you could share this information with them.
- Set a ‘start’ and ‘finish’ time for what you count as Christmas. Remind yourself that it won’t last forever.
- Set your boundaries. Say no to things that aren’t helpful for you.
- Let yourself experience your own feelings and have the things you need.
- Take time out. Do something to forget that it’s Christmas or distract yourself, watch a film or read a book that’s set in the summer.
- If you can’t avoid something difficult, plan something for yourself afterwards to help reduce the stress or distress you might feel.
- Let people know you’re struggling. It can often feel like it’s just you when it’s not, It doesn’t have to be people who are already in your life. You could join an online community.
- Tell people what they can stop, start or continue doing to help you. For example, you could let them know any activities you’d like to be involved in, and what they can do to support you during Christmas.
- You don’t have to justify yourself to others. But you might feel pressured to, especially if someone asks a lot of questions. It could help to let them know that certain situations are difficult for you.
Here at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, we will be continuing to work 24/7 over the festive period to support you and your mental health. You can call 01482 240133 or Freephone 0800 138 0990. You can also email us at [email protected]
If Christmas is a hard time for you, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Use these tips and the services available to help with your mental health.