• leylagunn

Jingle Bell Blues

Everyone thinks of Christmas as a time of happiness and joy, and why not?

There is Christmas music, decorating a Christmas tree, loads of Christmas foods and drinks to enjoy and it is often seen as a great time to spend with family and friends. So, it would maybe seem unusual that mental health is often actually on the rise at Christmas…

Sometimes with all of the Christmas cheer, we forget that mental health does not just disappear.

Christmas or winter, in general, can often be quite a difficult time. Occasionally we

can be so wrapped up in everything Christmas that we forget to stop and check on everyone. But some people can actually find this time of year very lonely, others may find it all too much…

Around Christmas, there can be a lot of pressure to socialise with work nights out, or with friends and family. This can be very difficult as people do not want to be seen as rude or disrespectful for not joining in the festive activities and

“it’s Christmas”

is often used as a persuasion technique to get people out. So, this festive season, and any other, just remember to be mindful that actually, this can be a very hard time for some people, the Christmas spirit, the socialising, the shopping, the lights, the preparation, it can all be very overwhelming. Listen to what people are saying and respect their wishes, and don't use Christmas as a bargaining tool. Instead, speak to each other find out what they would like to do, or if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with it all make sure you speak to people and let them know how you are feeling, they might be willing to change the plans and relieve some of the pressure.

However, we also need to learn to relieve some of the pressure on ourselves as it doesn’t stop with the socialising… we all put way too much pressure on ourselves at Christmas, buying gifts for everyone, making sure we haven’t left anyone out, trying to make sure the gift is good enough. It can often take the fun out of shopping for other people. It is important to remember that it is always the thought that counts. I was always told this by my mum when I was younger but I don't feel like I truly understood until I started shopping for everyone at Christmas. But it is an incredibly important message that we should share with others. Christmas has become a lot about gifts, especially for younger children, but we need to remember what is really important.

What is really important at Christmas?

I find each year it might be something different… and it will be different for each person, so this Christmas try not to put too much pressure on yourself and instead focus on what is important to you.

For me this year, and yes this might sound very cliché, it’s spending time with my family. The last few years have been very hectic, and the last few months have been even more so. But for the first time in about 23 years, my sisters and I have all been living in different cities. So, this year I am just happy that they could get home and for me, that is one of the best presents I could get. Again, I know it sounds cliché.

Just remember Christmas Cheer doesn't make mental health disappear! 

I hope you all have an amazing Christmas and find out what is most important to you this year!!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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