Christmas is traditionally a time for celebration. But for some people the festive season can intensify mental health difficulties. As much as I love Christmas, I do suffer from anxiety and this time of the year is a deep struggle for me. All the busy busy shops and people may be too much for an anxiety sufferer or just someone who doesn’t like all the busyness of Christmas..
#1 – This may be hard for some people, but I would recommend telling whoever you’re going to be with on Christmas about how you may be struggling. I do this every year because I’m open to my dad about my struggles and because I am semi recovered. I understand if you can’t do this due to your situation – ONLY DO IT IF YOU’RE GONNA BE SAFE. I think with me telling my dad about how I may not be mentally stable over Christmas, allows me to relax and if something seems to trigger my anxiety, I know I am okay, safe and can take some time out for myself knowing the people around me will be aware why.
#2 – Take care of yourself during the Christmas season. Make sure you eat right and eat enough to be healthy. When I’m anxious, I either over eat or under eat (to be able to control something in my life) but during Christmas, I try my absolute hardest to not do this. Eating too much makes our bodies lethargic which is not what you want, especially around Christmas. Control your alcohol consumption too! Alcohol tends to make us feel more paranoid and overall anxious. Make sure you get enough sleep too!!
#3 – This one kinda links in to top #1. Recognise when you are feeling sorta cranky and stressed. Then, use relaxation techniques (I had a blog post on this, here!) when you realise your mental state. You could also go for a walk, if you feel safe enough for that. Walks make me feel so much calmer and help me feel real, because I realise what’s around me.
Please make sure you are okay this Christmas time. There’s plenty of people around you that will be there for you, if given the opportunity. Also, hotlines that you can ring if you need help and don’t feel safe getting it from people around you.