However, many of us will find ourselves experiencing feelings which are neither merry nor happy during the Christmas period. Anxiety and depression can have us feeling especially isolated at this time of year. Day-to-day health or money worries do not necessarily take a holiday, and family tensions and expectations can be high. If you are suffering a recent breakup or bereavement, Christmas can be particularly painful.
If you find yourself suffering through, rather than enjoying the festivities, here are some suggestions that may help
- Give yourself permission not to be happy all the time, be gentle on yourself, recognise that for you this isn’t an easy time
- Find someone to talk to. Seek out people that make you feel better and won’t judge you. This may not be a family member, it may be easier to talk to a stranger. Try internet chat rooms with similar people.
- Consider doing less. Are your expectations too high? If anxious about organising and shopping, you can ask friends to help. Instead of creating the perfect Christmas how about one that is good enough?
- Physical activity. Any form of exercise can help lift your mood.
- Go easy on sugar and alcohol. Big changes in blood sugar levels affect your mood, alcohol although it feels good initially is a depressant overall.
Some numbers to call if you are struggling at Christmas:
SANEline 0845767 8000 www.sane.org.uk
Samaritans 08457 909090 (24hrs) www.samaritans.org.uk