Things are seeming to feel a lot more festive, as more and more people begin to put up their decorations ready for Christmas later this month! We’ve even had some snow to start the month off too. For many, we may begin to feel a sense of anticipation for the festivities to truly begin, and enjoy spending some time with the people that we care most about. However, Christmas can also bring with it a unique set of challenges to mental health. During this blog post, we feel it is important to explore some of these challenges so that we can truly come together and support each other through the Christmas period!
The holiday season often comes with a societal expectation of perfection, from picture-perfect decorations to wonderful family gatherings, and getting that perfect gift for the people you care about. Maybe you’re a parent who is struggling financially but your kids are all excited for some of the expensive gifts, and you are stressed about letting them down. Or perhaps, you aren’t getting along with your family and you are feeling pressured to have to spend time with them because it's Christmas. This pressure can be incredibly overwhelming and can often lead to people experiencing intense feelings of not being good enough or even isolation.
Christmas is traditionally a time for gathering with loved ones, however, it’s important to remember that not everyone has that same support network. As such those feelings of loneliness can intensify during Christmas and make it a very difficult time. Especially when there is always this big focus on “being together for the holidays”.
The many challenges that arrive with the holiday season can trigger feelings of stress and anxiety. Having the balance of holiday shopping, social obligations, work and the pressure to meet expectations can be very mentally taxing and as such it can be important that we have steps in place to make sure that we are looking after our mental health.
Here are a few coping strategies that may be useful throughout the festive period…
Put self-care first. This can be as simple as setting boundaries and making sure that they are both followed and respected. Such as avoiding situations/gatherings that you know may hurt your mental health or setting a limit on how much you can spend. Or even just maybe treating yourself a bit too! You deserve it.
As mentioned earlier Christmas can often be a very isolating experience for many people who for whatever reason may not have someone to spend it with. Or maybe due to differing of beliefs towards Christmas are feeling very left out. This is why practising inclusivity can be a wonderful thing!
Throughout the month we will continue posting more helpful tips and coping strategies to hopefully support everyone through this time! Mind has also got lots of helpful information about Christmas and Mental health which you can find over here -> https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/christmas-and-mental-health/
If you need support, please also feel free to get in touch with us here at Burton and District Mind. We are here for you :heart: