You and your mental health still matter this Christmas

Christmas can be a joyful time of the year, filled with festivities, food, parties and time with loved ones. However, for some people, it can also be one of the hardest times of the year. Christmas can bring about feelings of obligation and over-commitment to social plans. Some people may experience loneliness and isolation. Others may find the disruption to their routines destabilising

Tips for looking after your mental wellbeing this Christmas
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Reframing – How can you be your friend this Christmas?

  • Turn the volume down on the internal critic
  • Let yourself be the way you feel
  • Have a Christmas that works for you
  • Remember that You are loved. YOU are worth it
  • Give yourself permission to be you
  • Think of it as your rest day

Boundaries – what is your agenda this Christmas?

  • Have clear boundaries with people – parents / in-laws etc.
  • Balance your sense of social obligations against your need for self-care
  • Challenge the assumption that anything ‘needs’ to happen over Christmas
  • Give yourself permission to say no
  • Think about what your agenda for looking after your wellbeing this Christmas is, and prioritise it
  • Let family and friends know that you will need time out for quiet and calm

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Planning – what do you want to do this Christmas?

  • Write down what is really important to you
  • Prioritise and tackle things one at a time
  • Leave space for the unexpected
  • Be mindful of how your routine is about to change
  • Plan ahead and have some nice things booked in that you’d like to do outside of family gatherings
  • If Christmas with your family can be tough then plan something to look forward to with your ‘chosen family’ (friends, neighbours etc.) for afterwards

 Actions – what self-care and day to day activities can you keep doing?

  • Sit in the garden in a warm coat and get a brief sunny boost
  • Meditate
  • Find time to yourself – take a long bath, or go on an errand, 5 minutes to yourself can be really helpful
  • If you struggle with sleep, stick as close as possible to your usual routine
  • Keep up with your self-care routine – exercise, sleep, socialise, volunteer, walk outdoors
  • Spend time doing charity and community work
  • Ask someone to keep an eye out for you and to check in on how you’re doing
  • Create your own experiences and happiness. Be indulgent. Pamper yourself

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Need support?

  • Childline: The UK’s free helpline for children and young people – it’s a confidential service and provides telephone counselling for any child with a problem. Helpline: 0800 1111 Textphone: 0800 400 222 Mon-Fri 9:30am-9:30pm | Sat and Sun: 11am-8pm
  • YoungMinds Telephone 020 7089 050;  email:ymenquiries@youngminds.org.uk
  • Youth Access Information and advice for people aged 12-25 years old.
  • If you need someone to talk to then Samaritans are available on 116 123 (UK) for free, 24/7. They are there to talk to, listen and they won't judge or tell you what to do.