Christmas is known for the ho ho ho and the mistletoe (toe toe), but not everyone feels the festive cheer during the festive season.
It’s normal to have ups and downs at Christmas, just like any other time of the year – even more so in 2020. From worrying about budgets, to choosing who to spend your time with – it’s a time that can be full of stresses and struggles. If you’re feeling the winter blues, or just a bit sad at Christmas, you’re not alone.
If you’re struggling this Christmas – CALM’s helpline and webchat is open every day from 5pm – midnight, including on Christmas Day. If you’re feeling lonely, anxious or depressed at Christmas, or you’re not really sure how you feel, then talking to someone can help. CALM’s professional helpline staff are on hand to chat about whatever you’re going through – whether that’s Christmas related or not. Chats are confidential, free and anonymous, and nothing is too big or too small to chat about.
Loneliness at Christmas
Loneliness is tough anytime of the year, but feeling lonely at Christmas (and during a pandemic) can feel particularly hard. It can feel very isolating seeing the different ways people celebrate – especially on things like social media or groupchats where things can seem pretty, well, perfect.
While it might seem like you’re the only person in the world who feels lonely at Christmas, that’s not the case. 9 million people in the UK report feeling lonely some or most of the time. People often assume that only older people get lonely, but it’s something that can affect everyone, no matter of age, gender or background.
It’s important to remember that dealing with loneliness is possible. While it might not be easy at first, there’s loads of ways to start feeling less lonely – from online groups to IRL meet ups over passions and projects.
Mental health at Christmas
Winter blues, Christmas blues, festive fog, there’s lots of ways we’ve learnt to talk about feeling less than merry during the colder, winter months – which goes to show just how widespread that feeling is.
Nevertheless, there’s a difference between being a bit gutted that Aunty Sue got you an ugly jumper, and feeling inexplicably sad, worried, or angry for long periods of time. Our mental wellbeing affects us all-year-round, Christmas included, so if you’re noticing that your mood has taken a dip, you’ve lost motivation or you’re struggling to carry on with your everyday life, it’s a good idea to talk to someone.
Feeling stressed at Christmas
Whether it’s worries around Christmas itself – seeing family or people you don’t feel yourself around, financial stresses or tense relationships, Christmas can be a difficult time. Feeling stressed at Christmas can also make existing mental health conditions more difficult to cope with – your routine might be out of whack, it may be harder to fight temptation, or the stress could exacerbate compulsive thoughts and behaviours.
If you’re feeling stressed around Christmas and the many obligations, traditions and expectations, try to remember you’re in control. You don’t have to behave in a certain way just because it’s Christmas – our mate NOEL has some more advice on how to tackle the Christmas period here.
That means if you don’t want roast potatoes with your dinner, that’s fine, so is avoiding the Zoom Chat with the whole family, and setting a budget that’s sensible for you for those xmas pressies.
Remember, if you or your mate are in need of immediate help, CALM’s helpline and webchat are open 5pm to midnight every day 0800 58 58 58.
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