mental health

How to Get Through Christmas With a Healthy Mental Health

In my opinion Christmas can be a very overwhelming time; from buying a ton of gifts and worrying about costs to the pressures of social events (obviously not relevant right now!). 

It’s not always a happy/easy celebration, for some. That is what inspired me to write this post as the stereotype that ‘Christmas is a happy, cheerful and fun celebration’ isn’t always the truth!

On my instagram @wecanconquerblog, I have been sharing daily encouragement and challenges as part of my mental health advent calendar, so check if you need some extra support this month. 

As well as that I also wanted to write this blog, to share some tips on how to get through this holiday season; whilst staying mentally healthy (which is so important!)

  1. Set Boundaries – if you’re like me and get jealous and envious a lot; a boundary you might want to set is a limit on social media. Scrolling through content of people all happy and festive can make you feel even worse about yourself (however I don’t agree that social media is true to life anyway and people aren’t as happy as they appear on their pictures – but that’s for another post!). So whether it’s setting limits on your phone or with people around you etc- it’s so important that you evaluate what you can do to ensure that you’re not going to get overwhelmed.
  1. Make time to check in with yourself every day – Christmas can mean that everything happens so fast and because of this, you may forget to check in with how you’re feeling. I’ve always believed that your mental health should never be put second, regardless of how busy you are. Even if it means scheduling in time every day to write down your emotions and create a plan of how you can get through the season, in accordance to your boundaries (like I said in point 1). 
  1. Let the people around you know how you’re feeling – it’s so important that you are honest with how you’re feeling emotionally and physically with the people you’re closest to, during this time (and all the time for that matter!). If you’re struggling with depression right now, I know how hard it is to open up to people, but even just telling one person will help you and that person to know what boundaries to take i.e. not pressuring you to do something you’re not comfortable with. Obviously it’s not just for people struggling with depression that I am referring to, It’s everyone; regardless of what you’re struggling with or not struggling with – the people closest to you should know how you’re feeling. This also ensures that there is less conflict; for example, if you have an eating disorder and don’t want to indulge in chocolate, the people around you will be aware of that. 
  1. Set a daily routine – I can’t tell you enough how amazing this has been for me. Honestly before December, I was super unproductive with all of my tasks and had been postponing them for weeks. However, I set myself a mission that throughout December I would be more motivated and set myself goals and honestly I have been sticking to my mission and have been completing ‘most’ (emphasising the most) of my tasks. So, basically the point I wanted to make is that when you set tasks for the day, you will know what your responsibilities are and it will help you to not fall into a slump. However, don’t get me wrong, I still have those days when I am unmotivated and I don’t complete all of my tasks (or none of my tasks) and that’s okay too. I just wanted to say that setting yourself a daily routine will help you to stay more consistent. 
  1. Lastly, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have an ‘enjoyable christmas’ – what I mean by this is that Christmas somewhat has an unintentional pressure about it. If you tell someone that you’re not enjoying the season, they will most likely give you a weird look. This is because, like I said at the beginning of the blog, there is a stereotype about Christmas that it is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ but for some people it isn’t. Also, with regard to this year particularly, Christmas does look very different and I can understand why people wouldn’t enjoy it as much this year. So my point is, regardless of what Christmas is ‘supposed to look like’, it’s okay if it doesn’t look like that for you. Don’t think you’re a grinch if you’re not happy about this season – there are so many reasons why you may not enjoy Christmas and that’s okay. Through taking the pressure of yourself you will feel so much better. 

Overall, I just wanted to emphasise that Christmas doesn’t always look as beautiful as the films imply. Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas but particularly this year, I don’t feel like I have the Christmas spirit in me that I usually have. I have been feeling so guilty that I should feel a certain way but I have realised that there is no reason to put pressure on myself when I don’t feel like it and the same goes for you. It is so important to look after your mental and physical health this Christmas so if this means cutting down on the Christmas Traditions, then that is okay! 

I hope this acts as a helpful tool for you! I am always here if you want to chat. 

Love Emily xx

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