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CALM Ambassadors on getting through the festive season

Stood at the supermarket entrance, shoppers wait, elbows ready for jabbing their way to the cranberry sauce before it sells out. Andy Williams warbles over the crackly speakers “It’s the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrrr”, but is it? Don’t get us wrong, Christmas can be great, but it can also be stressful. So we caught up with the CALM ambassadors to hear their festive foibles and favourites to round up 2020.

From cutting out Christmas tree envy, to their top seasonal songs, here’s how they keep things CALM during the festive season.

“A great way to look after yourself during the Christmas period is to set boundaries. As much as I love my family, spending an intense amount of time in their company can get a little overwhelming.” - Shareefa J

If the people pleasing all gets a bit much this time of year, model and mental wellbeing advocate Shareefa can relate. She suggests setting some boundaries with your friends or family to allow room for a little “me time” during the holidays.

But Shareefa’s no Grinch, this avid Bublé fan, believes the best bit about Christmas is sporting your pyjamas all day, judgement free. Full of golden advice Shareefa says to sack off comparisons. Switch off your phone just for a moment and try not to get sucked into the dreaded Christmas tree envy.

“I try to do the little things very well. I take a long shower in the morning, make a good coffee to start the day, or I just try to appreciate the company, food and terrible TV” - RKZ

Self-care is singer-songwriter RKZ’s go-to when it comes to coping with the non-stop festivities. He believes it’s important to make time to look after yourself during the Christmas rush, even if it’s just a great cup of coffee and an appreciation for the little things. RKZ suggests peeling yourself off the sofa at least once a day for a walk, or a blast of fresh air (pyjamas are of course welcome). His favourite festive tune? Boyz II Men, Let It Snow.

“The most annoying thing about Christmas is having a cat that thinks the Christmas tree is a scratching post and ever single bauble is a cat toy” - Jonny Sharples

Twitter extraordinaire and CALM ambassador Jonny Sharples listed his top Christmas songs like he’s listing off the premier league table, so why not add these to your festive playlist?

  1. Christmas Wrapping, The Waitresses

  2. Fairytale of New York, The Pogues

  3. 2000 Miles, The Pretenders

We’re wishing football funny man, Jonny, and his Christmas mad cat a very merry festive season.

“In the past we’d drink a lot at Christmas to destress, but now we do pilates and yoga. We even have matching yoga mats!” - Luke Pritchard and Ellie Rose, DUO

Love birds Luke and Ellie are swapping hair of the dog for downward dog this Christmas, opting to start their festivities with a lowkey morning stretch.

When they’re not partaking in pilates, they’re listening to their favourite Christmas song, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), by John Lennon and Yoko Ono - anyone else think this couple would make convincing John and Yoko lookalikes?

Here’s our ambassadors wishing you all the best after a crap year:

“Wishing you all a magnificent holiday and sending you lots of love” - Zak Abel

Joining our crew of CALM ambassadors back in March, singer-songwriter Zak Abel knows the importance of organisations like ours.

“We’re all bound to have times in our lives where things aren’t going so well and we’re going through a rough patch. Some people don’t have a support network and so it’s important organisations like CALM exist.”

Merry Christmas Zak!

“All of the greetings, all of the seasons - happy all of the stuff” - Seann Walsh

We think what comedian Seann Walsh is trying to say is “Merry Christmas”, but on a serious note, our witty ambassador has done a lot for CALM, taking part in Comedy Against Living Miserably, giving us VIP access to his fridge and even doing his own Lost Hours Walk. Now he wants to say a big thank you to CALM’s supporters for all the work you’ve done throughout 2020.

“It’s okay to reach out for help” - Suzi Ruffell

Comedian Suzi Ruffell is an open book when it comes to talking about mental wellbeing, breaking down the stigma by talking about it in her standup shows. Suzi’s proud to be an ambassador for CALM and this year took part in Dave’s Comedy Against Living Miserably, chatting with fellow comedians about why it’s important to speak up when we’re struggling - even at Christmas.

If you’re finding things difficult this holiday, we’re here to help make things a little easier. Our helpline and webchat service keeps running throughout the festive season. Open every day from 5pm-Midnight, you can count on CALM no matter what. Access it here.