How your mental health can suffer at this festive time.

Home 9 Health and Well Being 9 How your mental health can suffer at this festive time. ( Page )

Christmas isn’t always a time of joy and peace for all.

It often throws up and highlights underlying mental health issues that can affect us all, but for those more susceptible it can be a difficult time.

This article highlights some of the issues that can burden people.


There isn’t an hour that goes by in the media this time of year that doesn’t feature alcohol. It’s the time for a party and an excuse to get “merry”. It’s in the title for goodness sake. If you are struggling with alcohol it can be very difficult to stay in control and resist temptation. Just one drink could lead to a relapse for someone who is recovering from alcohol addiction.

Here are a few tips to help you if that is the case.

  1. Try and stay in the company of friends and family who understand and support your recovery.
  2. Be aware that some cakes and puddings contain alcohol, steer clear of these.
  3. If you are at a party where alcohol is available, make sure you have a plan in place to leave when you start to feel uncomfortable.


When everyone is supposed to be full of joy and making merry it can highlight the negative thoughts and feelings that those struggling with depression feel. Remember not everyone is feeling full of joy and merry-making.

If they are depressed they will not be kind to themselves and will avoid social gatherings. If you are feeling depressed try and talk to someone you trust about it.  Try not to be hard on yourself.

Avoid alcohol and drugs as these will make you feel better in the short-term but leave your mood and self-esteem even lower than before. If you are feeling depressed try and join a social gathering with trusted friends, you may find you have a better time than you expected and this will help to lift your mood.

A really useful thing to do is to write a list of a few positive things that you did or how you felt that day. Look at it again when you wake up in the morning. If you aren’t suffering from depression just remember to keep a lookout for friends and family who have withdrawn from social gatherings.

Anxiety at Christmas

Once again, the expectation of having to attend social gatherings can lead to increased anxiety. It is also a time when there are more likely to be crowds of people out and about in the high street and on the roads. This can be daunting and overwhelming for some. To help you cope, remember to use deep breathing techniques to relax you into a calmer state of mind.

If you are feeling anxious then write down the stressors that affect you and work out how you can overcome these. Ask yourself if the stress is real or just an opinion. Another great question is asking what is the worst that can happen. Often the answer to that will calm you down.

Stress at Christmas

Christmas Stress Advice Back In Form LtdAt this time of year, there is so much more to do. Shopping, socialising, workloads to complete before the holiday period, family to visit. This undoubtedly raises your stress levels.

To help you cope, try to spread out social engagements over a longer period, keep a check on your spending budget, do not feel peer pressure to go out more, ignore media pressure to spend more.

Try to ignore the feelings of guilt you may have about not being able to be the perfect person and fulfill all of these unrealistic goals.

Limit your social media time as it is likely to highlight how amazing everyone’s life is, this is not a true representation of fact and can lead to feelings of being a failure because your tree isn’t decorated as well, your cooking is not as good as Nigella’s and your elf on the shelf is still in the shops!

Remember Christmas is about helping your fellow man or woman. If you can, consider taking a little time this Christmas to help others less fortunate or mobile than yourself.

Here is a list of charities that you may want to help:

This Echo web page explains how you could help the homeless this Christmas in Poole.

more news