Blog | 5 Top Tips for Coping with Christmas

Sometimes it's not the most wonderful time of the year... Christmas can be hard in many, many ways for lots of us, especially when there is increased pressure to feel happy and joyful.

Christmas can be hard in many, many ways for lots of us.

Sometimes we just don’t want to be involved because of the way we are feeling, or we feel a huge expectation is on us to be happy and enjoy it when we feel the opposite of happy. Or we might have lost someone or be missing someone, or not be included in festivities and end up feeling really lonely or left out.

Family time can be hard on our mental health and sometimes it can feel hard to say no when we feel we SHOULD be feeling better about it. Here are some of the things that may help you to look after your mental health and give yourself the best gift this Christmas…

1)  Be kind to you! 

Try and be gentle with yourself. It’s OK to feel sad… but work out what makes you feel happier and try and make sure that you plan to do some of those things over the Christmas period. You come first, and this is not selfish to prioritise what you need. Your wellbeing is more important than anything else. Planning the right way for you is paramount. 

2)  It’s OK to say no. 

It’s OK to set some boundaries and only do what you feel comfortable with. If you absolutely have to do something you don’t really want to do, remind yourself that it won’t last forever and set yourself a time limit for taking part. It’s also ok to tell people that you find certain situations hard. 

3) Put on your ‘Perspectacles’! 

Get some perspective by remembering that this is only a few days out of the year. You can decide for yourself when you think your Christmas should begin and end, no matter what everyone else is doing. Again, it’s all about setting healthy boundaries for yourself that look after your mental wellbeing. 

4) Keep talking.

Talking about how you feel can really make a huge difference. Treat yourself to the gift of some counselling, talk to a friend or family member you trust, or, if there is nobody you can talk to, please call an organisation like Samaritans who are there to listen to you. Don’t keep painful or harmful feelings to yourself. Reach out. 

5) Plan ahead! 

Try and plan something positive and good for you for the New Year. Having control over this and having something to really look forward to will help you cope with the bits that might feel difficult. 

We know that the festive season is not festive for everyone and that not everyone will have a Happy Christmas. Please know that you’re not alone and that there are people out there who you can talk to.  

If you are feeling desperate or possibly at risk to yourself, here are some useful numbers:


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