Close up of a calendar, with a red tree bauble on the left, showing Christmas Day with the word STRESS written on itWhile for many this time of year can be a time of love and laughter; parties and celebrations, for others it can be a difficult time. It can be a time of loneliness, anxiety and depression. For those living with mental health disorders, such as depression or anxiety, the festive period can be a lot to deal with.

We’re aware that the uncertainty surrounding the current economic situation could present some additional mental health challenges for people. If you find yourself needing support over the coming weeks,  please don’t struggle alone – please speak to someone.

Managing Mental Health at Christmas

Tips to support those who may be finding it tough

For those people who may be struggling, we have pulled together some tips to help others provide support.

  • Watch out for signs that friends, family or colleagues may be struggling. Any change from the norm could be a sign they need help – this could be appearance, mood, behaviour, or contact.
  • Keep in touch. This can be more difficult at this time of year when everyone is out and about celebrating, but remember that not everyone is.
  • If you know of someone living with mental or physical health problems, check in regularly, especially if you know they find it a tough time of year.
  • This time of year brings added pressure to drink which can increase feelings of anxiety, stress or mental distress, which can

If YOU are finding it tough…

Here are a few things that might help make things more manageable for you.

If you’re feeling the pressure of the season, remember that you don’t have to do it all. It’s OK to not join in all the parties or to not take part in Christmas dressing up. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself – if that means declining invitations and having lasagne for Christmas dinner, that’s perfectly OK!

Have resources in place for when things get tough. People you can call, movies you love, music that makes you feel good, books to read. It can also help to write down how you’re feeling to get the thoughts out of your head.

Plan in time for self-care. Getting out in the fresh air for a walk, a long soak in the bath, a chat with a trusted friend – whatever works for you, make time for it.

Accept help when offered, and if it’s not offered, ask for help if you need it.

If you need to take to someone impartial, contact The Samaritans free on 116 123. They’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our well-being resource pack contains information for some organisations that you can reach out to should you need to, along with some tips for self-care and general well-being.

As always we urge you to be kind to yourself and prioritise your own well-being, and remember to seek help if you need it.

No matter what the year has thrown at you, we hope that there have been some highlights that you can reflect back on over the festive break.

Finally, I just want to wish all our clients and connections a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year.