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Looking after your mental health this Christmas

Dec 18, 2020 |

Wendy Burke

Amongst all the tinsel and present wrapping, we often forget that Christmas can be a difficult time for many – it can bring memories of lost loved ones and feelings of loneliness, but this year could bring even more challenges.

Covid-19 will mean that Christmas will be different, a year like no other. Some may be disappointed that their family are unable to call, and others may even feel vulnerable because family are calling by.

These feelings are quite normal, it is OK to be worried and unsure. This time of year can put a lot of pressure on your mental health, especially if you have been busy at work or at home. Christmas can be especially hard if you are experiencing abuse, have money worries or will spend the day alone. Maybe you just want to skip this Christmas altogether – that’s OK too.

Festive wellbeing ideas

Here are a few helpful ideas from mental health charity Mind on how to boost your mental wellbeing:

  • Enjoy nature - If you can’t get outside, then perhaps watch a nature documentary or even find a livestream from a zoo of penguins or polar bears!
  • Get active - Take a walk to see if there are any Christmas lights or displays in your area.
  • Connect with people - Write to friends and family, arrange an online call on Christmas day to someone special.
  • Learn something new - Try to learn a new recipe, craft or hobby.
  • Find purpose and community - Maybe find a charity to support or a mutual aid group with a festive project.
  • Bring people together - Why not host a virtual Christmas crafternoon or quiz?

Coping with tiredness

Or perhaps you are exhausted from work, especially after the run up to Christmas. If so, please remember:

  • Take some time out over the holidays and make some time for yourself.
  • If work emails are linked to your phone, consider switching off notifications for a day or two so you can unwind.
  • Stay active.

The importance of self-care

  • Focus on doing what you enjoy, for example: go for a cycle, play video games, do a puzzle or just have a PJ day.
  • Connect with people if you are feeling lonely, not just family and friends, remember there are other ways: Mind has an online community called side by side that is a welcoming place to speak with others. Comedian Sarah Millican is also hosting a Christmas Day Chatter on Twitter which anyone can join (link below).

Whatever you do at Christmas, make sure you take care and stay safe and look after yourself.

 

Support sites

Spending Christmas without a loved one? Find support from CRUSE:

https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/about-grief/anniversaries-and-reminders-when-you-are-bereaved/coping-at-christmas

 

Tips for spending Christmas alone:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/christmas-and-coronavirus/#SpendingChristmasAloneDuringCoronavirus

 

The charity Refuge has advice if you are experiencing - or have experienced - abuse:

https://www.refuge.org.uk/covid19-survivor-tips/

 

Money and your mental health:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/money-and-mental-health/

 

Side by side:

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/side-by-side-our-online-community/

 

Sarah Millican's Christmas Day Chatter:

https://sarahmillican.co.uk/joinin/        

 

Mind

Telephone: 03001233393

Website: https://www.mind.org.uk/

Email: info@mind.org.uk

Text: 86463

 

Samaritans

Telephone: 116123

Website: https://www.samaritans.org

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Tags: Health