Yippee! Tomorrow is Christmas day and I know so many of you are just as excited as I am for Christmas. Some people say they prefer Christmas eve to Christmas day but I am hell of a Christmas day person lol. Christmas season is an amazing period. We get to bond with family, eat as much as we can take in, relax and all but Christmas could be stressful and the pressure that comes with Christmas can have a negative effect on the mental health. Christmas isn’t always the warm and fun season we paint it to be. For some people, Christmas is a time of depression, loneliness, grief and all.
If you find yourself struggling with your mental health during Christmas or during this holiday season in general, you are not alone. Mental health issues like, depression, anxiety or even grieving the death of a loved one can be triggered during Christmas for a whole number of reasons. Christmas might be a lot different this year and celebrating Christmas during the pandemic can be even more stressful and so, here are few ways you can keep your mental health in check this Christmas.
HAVE A CHRISTMAS THAT WORKS FOR YOU AND YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
The importance of having a Christmas that works for you and your mental health cannot be overemphasized. Christmas is lovely but it can come with so much pressure and having a Christmas that works for you (a Christmas that is just perfect for you) can really help keep your mental health in check. Each person deals with pressure in different ways. Some people handle pressure nicely while others find it difficult to cope with pressure but whichever category you fall into, it is important to note that you do not need to have a Christmas that takes up all your energy, you do not need a Christmas that is too over the top. An over the top Christmas will lead to more stress and pressure thereby leaving a negative effect on your mental health. Have a Christmas that preserves your mental health. Christmas can be very stressful and all but Christmas can have a really negative effect on your mental health if you take on too much!
Take time out for yourself. No amount of time spent with yourself is too small. Give yourself a break from everything and spend few minutes of your time with the best person in the world *yourself*. Studies have shown that giving yourself a breathing space and spending time alone reduces stress, improves mental health, gives you opportunity to plan your life and boosts self esteem so give spending time with yourself a try this Christmas. Plus you do not have to do anything extra while spending time with yourself. You can:
- Read a book
- Watch a movie all by yourself
- Reminisce the good times and think about the positives
REACH OUT/ TALK TO SOMEONE
If you start to feel anxious, stressed, lonely, isolated, depressed, or anything at all, talk to someone. It can be very hard to talk to someone about these feelings but it is very good to communicate your feelings to someone (not just anyone tho, I advice you talk to a trusted person. For example: a trusted family member, friend, a counsellor or call a mental health emergency number). Talking to a a trusted person about how you feel can help you feel better and it can help you feel more positive about the issues you are having. If you feel like you do not have someone to talk to, or you want to talk to a counsellor, you can talk to me here!
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FEELINGS
It is very important to acknowledge and feel your feelings. Christmas season can be a time of sadness, grief, anxiety, depression for some people. For example, Christmas season can be a time of grief for someone who recently lost his/her loved ones or someone whose loved one died some time ago around Christmas time. It is important to note that it is normal to feel sad, grief, and it is okay to cry, feel your feelings and express your feelings. Feel your feelings but do not let yourself be too overwhelmed by them.