Christmas is portrayed as the most wonderful time of the year, surrounded by family, eating delicious food, giving gifts to loved ones and being generally merry – just like the John Lewis adverts. A lot of us reading this are lucky enough to have a positive experience at Christmas, however some find it a difficult time of year. Toxic family or friends, food choices and the pressure to be happy and joyful can be really hard on some people and the feeling of guilt can be writhe. Below
Don’t be hard on yourself
Cheese, chocolate and wine is what I end up consuming the most of at Christmas. Why? Because I want to. Of course there will forever be healthier options but I want to indulge and fall asleep on the sofa with a food baby.
Bad body image affects 90% of women, and a lot of men too, which is incredibly sad! Christmas can be difficult if you are self-conscious and have these worries about what you are eating. But try not to be so hard on yourself. A couple days of indulgence is ultimately not going to change your body significantly. Don;t put any added pressure or guilt on yourself because of your food choices.
Give yourself alone time
Parties, family gatherings and games of charades can actually be pretty exhausting for those with anxiety or social anxiety. I get fatigued pretty easily when I am with a lot of people for a long period of time; I just always have thanks to the anxious part of my brain. Being on constant high alert to socialise can be pretty draining for those who are more introverted, so if you are like me and need your own time to recharge your batteries, don’t feel guilty or ashamed for having to take yourself off for a little while to recoup some energy.
Know your limits
Buck’s Fizz in the morning, wine with Christmas lunch and then onto all sorts…Christmas can be a boozy time but it is important to know your limits. If you take medication, drinking can affect the way it works so be mindful of this. Alcohol is ultimately a depressant so if you suffer from mental illness it is advised to take it easy as it can intensfit your emotions.
Don’t expect perfection
The perfectionist inside of you may be hoping for a Christmas day which runs smooth as clockwork; the Christmas dinner is cooked to perfection, children acting like well behaved angels and the Christmas tree is the glorious star of the show. However how many Christmases have you experienced which are like that? In reality the veg may be charred, the Christmas tree starts to look a little wonky and family members clash but that doesn’t mean the day is any less special.
Sounds obvious right? But in all the chaos, food, booze and people it can be easy to really think about what you are grateful. Look at the people you are surrounded by, the gifts they picked for you and the effort that goes into making everyone happy.
Find outside support
If you find yourself really struggling, please give Samaritans a call. They are open on Christmas Day for 24 hours and anyone can ring them. They helped me when I was in a bad place once and I cannot thank them enough for all of the hard work they do to help others.
Do you have any tips to keep well this Christmas? Leave them below in the comments.