Coping at Christmas – Part One: with mental health problems.

There a lot of posts about coping with Christmas flying around. I don’t think there can ever be too many. We all find things that help us and they’re all worth sharing. What works for one person may not work for another, but it could and that is worth a shot.

  1. Accept where you are. There is so much pressure at Christmas that it is so easy to end up putting on a front, almost turning into another person. It can work, but it can also leave you feeling worse afterwards. It’s ok to be struggling. It’s ok to not feel as festive as everyone around you. Don’t let the pressure of it make you worse. Focus on accepting where you are, and remember that even if you aren’t where you want to be this Christmas, it doesn’t mean you won’t be one day.
  2. Speak to someone. If you can, it’s really good to talk over the worries you have for the festive period. It doesn’t matter who. If you have professional help, talk to them. If you have a good friend, talk to them. Perhaps you can agree to text them if you need someone. If you can manage to talk to someone who is going to be with you over the period, even better. Tell them you’re a bit worried, tell them you might need them. Let them know if there is anything they can do to help.
  3. Work within your limits, be prepared. Think about what you can reasonably do. If going to every single event is going to be too much, it’s ok to say no to some.
  4. Have a go at some relaxation techniques (even if you think they aren’t for you!). Try a progressive muscle relaxation video, or try these that take less than 10 minutes.
  5. Look after yourself. Eat enough, don’t drink too much, make sure you get your sleep. If you need space, get it. Pop out for a 15 minute walk to get some air or go have a soak in the bath. Take your medication.
  6. And if you need someone to talk to, try helplines like Samaritans.
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