There’s only 3 sleeps left until Christmas. I, like so many others am definitely feeling the strain now. My gift shopping is all done, but I still have a messy house to sort, items to deliver and the food shopping to face. WAH. Two days ago, I remembered that it was important to look after myself, and to take a breath this Christmas. So many Christmases have gone by, in a total blur, and I don’t remember much but stressing when I look back. This year is different.
Take a breath this Christmas
In between all of the chaos and running around, it’s important we all take a breath this Christmas. Try to sit down with a hot cup of tea, and spend 5 minutes thinking about all you have achieved.
Don’t stress over the forgotten stuffing mix or the Neighbour cards you didn’t get round to writing. Have a look around you and take in your family and friends’ happy faces. Their gratefulness.
Don’t stress about the number of gifts under the tree
Growing up, I remember some years I had what felt like millions of Christmas presents. There were also years where I had, maybe 5 or 6 gifts. Those are the years I remember most fondly. I remember my Dad and I playing on my 2nd hand Nintendo console. It had one game and that was enough. There was no box, and nothing to unwrap as such. None of that mattered though. Don’t worry about how much money you spend on your loved ones – spend time instead – it’s much more valuable!
Take time for yourself
Whether you (like me) lose yourself in a book, or take yourself off for a walk when you need a break, remember it’s ok and perfectly normal.
We have 2 dogs, and I’m always grateful to get out of the house (and the chaos) for an hour, to walk the dogs in peace. If you don’t have dogs, walk to the shop, or take yourself off the beaten track and soak in some nature. Wrap up warm though – and tell someone where you’re going.
Talk to someone
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to talk to somebody about it. I know that’s easier said than done, but a problem shared is definitely a problem halved. Take a breath this Christmas, and remember those no longer with you. Remember the good times, and then celebrate on their behalf. I doubt they’d want you to feel sad. My parents are long gone now, but I have plenty of memories to keep them alive. For me, talking about the times we had together seems to soothe my aching heart.
If you’re worried about someone, reach out. Invite them out for a cuppa, or turn up on their doorstep with coffee to go and a bag of pastries. Christmas is a hard time of year for so many people, it’s important we all take time to breathe. This is a time of year for celebration (and reflection). Of Love (and loneliness).
If you’re struggling this Christmas, please reach out to someone. These charities are always there, if you don’t feel you can talk to someone close to you.
Mind Infoline: 0300 123 3393
Tel: 116 123
CALM – (Campaign Against Living Miserably):
For men who are feeling down or in crisis.
0800 585858 (5pm – midnight)
This free app offers a location based list of useful numbers, safety planning advice, counselling information and more.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
(Online chat & Mesenger service also available)
Helpline: 0800 169 6565
Free helpline: 0808 808 1677
Free helpline : 08088002222
SANEline – specialist mental health helpline, offers confidential emotional support.
Available on 0300 304 7000 between 6pm and 11pm each evening. Open as usual over Christmas.
Your Mental Health is just as important as your physical health. You’d seek medical support if your heart was affecting your day to day life, so please do the same for your mental health needs.