The holidays are a beautiful time filled with fairy lights, Christmas cheer and oh so much food!! However everything has its negatives and with all the fun of Christmas comes a whole lotta stress and pressure. It’s safe to say everyone gets at least a little stressed at Christmas, what with all the presents you have to buy and preparations that need to be made. However if you struggle with your mental health the stress can be overwhelming and the pressure to be happy and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year can be draining and really take its toll.
When seemingly everyone around you is on top of things, heading into the bustling crowds of the shopping centres to get last-minute gifts, breezing through everyone with ease and you can’t seem to build up the energy to get out of bed it can be deflating. Then there’s the feeling that you aren’t exactly making the most out of December, I mean you’re meant to be overjoyed and excited 24/7 right? But that just isn’t always the way it goes and that’s completely normal and okay.
So how can you make sure your mental health doesn’t suffer these holidays? This quote I found on Pinterest sums it up pretty well “Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.”
You don’t have to get a million things done to be successful, having all your presents wrapped shouldn’t take priority over how you feel mentally, watching each Christmas movie in the hopes of feeling festive shouldn’t take priority over getting a good nights sleep and spending all of Christmas day continually talking to people and smiling from ear to ear shouldn’t take priority over needing to have some alone time to gather your thoughts. Christmas is all about giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to give all of yourself to make others happy if it ultimately leaves you feeling lower than the Grand Canyon.
There are a few things you can do to keep your mental health as stable as possible throughout the next few weeks so I thought I’d share a few in the hopes that it helps even one of you.
You don’t need to be spreading Holly Jolly Christmas Cheer 24/7
I love spreading Christmas cheer as much as the next person, but it’s no easy feat to be singing Mariah Carey’s all I want for christmas is you while being covered in tinsel for 25 days straight. Realise that if you need to have a few days or a few weeks just taking it slow and enjoying Christmas for yourself that’s enough, it isn’t your responsibility to ensure that everyone around you has an amazing holiday season, if you want to have a Christmas movie night with your family that’s fun but if you just want to have some time alone to watch an episode of your favourite show that’s okay too. Christmas is all about spending time with the people you love so definitely try to make time to do things or just have a chilled day with friends can be really beneficial but you need to know when you’re at your limit and put your mental health first.
Online shopping is your best friend
I would never encourage someone to let their mental illness take control and force them to stay in doors but I get it Christmas shopping is just not the one. Going into the huge crowds, the possibility of running into every family friend your parents know and having to answer all the tedious but well intended questions such as “So have you found yourself someone special to spend the holidays with?” and “Don’t you just love this time of year?”, No Judy I don’t have a “someone special” thanks for reminding me and how could I not love feeling like I’m the one ruining the festive spirit?
I’m being very dramatic, it’s not all bad but sometimes its easier to get cozy on the couch and do your shopping without having to expertly navigate your way through hundreds of people is heaven. So chuck on some Michael Buble and do some scrolling.
Make a cozy space to relax in
wether it be your bed or the couch get a fluffy blanket and put on some comfy lounge clothes (or Christmas pyjamas), light a candle and get comfortable. Being in a comfortable environment can just make you feel a little calmer rather than being in skinny jeans sitting at your desk.
Get a little fresh air
Getting out of the house for a little bit really is so important, you can be stuck indoors all day and you might start to feel a bit trapped so go for a walk with your dog or a friend, even just sit outside and read for half an hour. Getting some fresh air can help make you feel less groggy and might make you feel a little bit lighter.
Distract yourself by doing something you enjoy
Getting your mind off your mental health and the pressure to be Christmassy can be so helpful. I love to write so throwing myself into blogging might be great for any of you who also have a blog or just write in a diary. If you like baking why not whip up something tasty to treat yourself to? Getting involved in something you really enjoy can make you feel more productive and less anxious so I would definitely recommend.
Use some helpful coping techniques
This is more centred around actually addressing your mental health. Using coping techniques for dealing with your mental health is very important, they allow you to move forward in over coming certain hurdles you may face and may also enable you to get out of your head and control your thoughts a bit better. I found a website which had a list of different things you can do which you can find here hopefully you can find something that works for you. You may already have developed some yourself or with a professional so remember to practice them whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed.
I hope this helped some of you, I wish you all the love in the world this festive season xx