Christmas is considered by many to be the most wonderful time of the year. But for some of us, it is a tough time of year and struggling with the added pressures that come with the festive season is more common than you think.
In fact, Christmas is one of the most challenging times for many, as it is suggested that about one in four of us have struggled with anxiety or depression over the holidays period. It is expected that that number is even than greater since the outbreak of COVID-19, as the global pandemic brings more worries and requires us to try to cope with more stresses on too of everything else.
As Christmas comes with this expectation that we should be happy, carefree, merry, spending time with friends and family; it can peak stress levels as we attempt to juggle responsibilities, meet expectations and cope with feelings of depression and anxiety. It's not all about all about family, gifts, and celebration, it is just as important that you look after yourself and seek help if needed.
With thanks to Mind Space Mayo, we have listed their 6 top tips for how to look after your mental health, if you someone who find this time of year difficult.
You don't have to be Bear Grylls to learn how to survive, it's just about how to put self-care first this Christmas:
1. SPENDING TIME ALONE
Sometimes it can feel like there is a lot of pressure during the holidays to entertain your loved ones and participate in games and discussions. Don't forget that it is always okay to take some time, relax and do something just for you!
2. SPENDING TIME WITH SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE
Whether its a loved one or a friend, we all need someone to support us when we are low. Follow your instinct, if you can relax and be yourself with them,chances are they are supportive.
3. SLEEP & RE-CHARGE
Sleep is often one of the things to slip when we are busy, stressed or anxious. If you can, think of the holiday as a chance to recharge your batteries and get your energy back up for the new year. You deserve a lie-in.
4. SHARING YOUR FEELINGS
It's understandable that, for lots and lots of people, the holidays are a really difficult time. The 'merry' Christmas we all wish for each other isn't always a reality, so if you feel like crying, know that is totally fine and normal too. IT can often feels much better than hiding how you really feel.
Positive self-talk can help us feel more confident and challenge the negative thoughts that harm us. For example, if you feel self- critical, think about how you would reassure a friend in a similar situation, then apply that to yourself.
6. SEEKING HELP
Remember if you need help then you deserve to get it. Asking for help when you need it is a really brave step and an important part of self- care.