Christmas time can be a struggle for many people, especially those suffering from mental health illnesses. You don’t necessarily have to suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to find the festivities daunting. You can absolutely love this time of year and still, your brain can make it difficult for you. So I thought I’d give five little bits of advice to try help you through the festive period if your mental health decides to play games with you.
Be realistic with yourself
During the Christmas period, there is often at least a couple of social gatherings. Whether that be with family, friends or colleagues, it can often mean being in a room with quite a few people. These things can be awful for anyone and can seem like the worst thing imaginable to MHI sufferers. The key to trying to control your MHI during this season is being honest and realistic with yourself. Don’t agree to go to five different events if you know you will not be able to mentally cope. If you only think you can manage one, then only go to one. Sometimes if you put too much pressure on yourself you can end up disappointing yourself. And feeling disappointed is definitely not the best way to spend the festive period.
Meeting and catching up with people during the holidays is supposed to be fun! If you make yourself feel uncomfortable too often then it will not be an enjoyable time for you. Remember, these are your holidays to enjoy as well as everyone else’s. If you feel like you’re beginning not to enjoy yourself, then remove yourself from the situation.
Allow yourself some down time
I don’t think I can stress enough how important down time is. Having some time to yourself to switch off, is important at any time of the year, and even more so during the holidays. Being surrounded by people constantly can be very daunting and draining. Remember to have some time out and practice self care, whether that be reading, bathing, watching or whatever you do to relax.
Don’t push yourself too far
This goes hand in hand with making sure you’re realistic with yourself. Having too much on and pushing yourself too far by being too busy, can get you in a bit of a tizz. Sometimes knowing your limits can really help, especially when things get busy.
It’s okay not to be okay
Just like I remind you every time, it is absolutely, 100% okay not to be okay. Just because it is Christmas time and everyone surrounding you seems so happy, it doesn’t mean you have to be. If you’re struggling then please ask for help, speak to someone. You don’t need to put on a brave face just because everyone else around you is happy. Some days will be good, great even, but some days will feel as if you’re getting nowhere. I promise you, this too will pass and you will feel good again.
This might not be very helpful but I wanted to remind you that Christmas time can be hard. Do you have any tips for coping throughout the festive period?