Christmas is seen as a time for being festive, fun and spending time with family.
Unfortunately for many people, it can be quite the opposite. Christmas can also be a time full of pressure, stress, worries and loneliness.
For many people, Christmas may be an important time of the year but your mental health should always be your priority.
As we reach the Christmas period, people may feel they have to spend lots of money on gifts for people close to them, for kids, family or friends. This can add a lot of pressure on people, especially if they are already struggling with money.
For many people, Christmas is a reminder that they have very few people in their lives-which can exacerbate feelings of lonliness and isolation.
There's the implication that you let people down if you not able to purchase expensive gifts. This is now even more prevalent for many people experiencing the Cost of Living Crisis, as it is getting harder to afford essentials such as food and energy.
For many, Christmas is a time when there's pressure to spend lots of time with family. which may be a difficult and unpleasant experience for some especially if it’s for extended periods of time.
If you are feeling the pressure already. perhaps this year, take the pressure off!
How can we take the pressure off?
If you are alone this Christmas, do consider exploring what's happening in your neighbourhood and community, even if its for a few hours.
Set a budget for presents and extra food and stick to it. It would not be very Christmas-y to expect anyone to go into debt to pay for gifts! Know that you are not letting people down for not being able to afford expensive gifts. There are ways to make sure the people around you have a good Christmas without having to spend money you don't have.
Set your own boundaries and respect those of others. It is always important that you are able to have your own personal boundaries respected by those around you. For example, if you are someone that knows they can’t be around family for extended periods you could try and say you’ll visit between these times and have to leave at a set time. This way, you have already made it clear as to when you will need to leave and can have that pressure taken away from feeling stuck.
Take time out. This can be a time to take a break and avoid yourself becoming too overwhelmed with the things going on around you.
It may feel like you are stuck and can’t avoid it, but remember Christmas will not last forever and you can get through it!
Explore your support network, which might include friends, family or services that can be there to help you through what you may be experiencing.
As always if you are struggling with your mental health and need support please get in contact with us here at Burton and District Mind, this can be done at the following -> https://www.burtonmind.co.uk/contact-us
However, please keep in mind during the Christmas period our office will be closed on these dates.
Christmas opening – Close 4pm Friday 23 Dec 2022
Reopen 10am Wednesday 28 December 2022. Close 4pm Friday 30 December 2022.
New Year reopen 9am 3 January 2023.
If you are in need of any support over the Christmas period, here are some useful resources.
Mind: Emergency Advice at Christmas - www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/crisis-services/getting-help-in-a-crisis/
Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline - 0808 800 2234 Open 2:00pm-2:00am every day of the year.
YMCA Burton & District – Reconnect Centre open over Christmas period (opposite ASDA island) - 01283 538802
Call Samaritans on 116 123 (UK-wide) Text SHOUT to 85258 (UK-wide)
Burton and District Mind wish you a wonderful and peaceful Christmas!