Protecting your Mental Health at Christmas
Published on : 21 Dec. 2020
Christmas can be a time of year that puts added pressure on us, and with extra restrictions in place this year, we know that for many, it might be even harder than usual on our mental health.
If you’re feeling alone, or frustrated, or are struggling to hold together all that’s expected of you, please know that you aren’t alone, and there is help available.
We’ve put together a few tips on things that might help you to navigate the next few days, along with some useful contacts, if you need someone to talk to.
5 tips for protecting your mental health this Christmas
- Be gentle and patient with yourself
Everyone has a different idea of what brings joy at Christmas. It’s absolutely okay if the things that bring you joy aren’t the same as the things that other people love. You don’t have to force yourself to do things that make other people happy. It’s okay to prioritise what’s best for you, even if other people don’t understand.
- Identify your triggers
It might be helpful to think in advance about the things, places, or people that might cause you difficulty during the holiday period. Write them down.
- Make a plan
Once you have identified the things that cause you pain or anxiety, begin to plan how to cut or limit these things. Then write down what is really important to you, and think about how you can prioritise and tackle each of these things.
- Set boundaries
Social obligations aren’t as important as self-care. If there are people you don’t want to see, or conversations you don’t want to have, set those boundaries without guilt. Challenge the assumption that anything ‘needs’ to happen over Christmas. Plan ways to end conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. It's ok to tell someone you don't want to talk about something, or to change the subject.
Ask for help
You’re not alone. It’s okay to let people know that you’re struggling. There are online communities that you can join if you don’t feel you can reach out to someone who is already in your life. The Samaritans are available 24/7 – even on Christmas Day. And it’s free to call them – their number is 116 123. The important thing is to not go through this on your own.
Samaritans - 116 123
CALM - 0800 585858 or webchat
Shout - Text 'Shout' to 85258