Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year for others it can mean the Christmas Blues. IF!… You have children or are in a loving relationship, can afford presents or even just food!, have family to whom you are close, or are a practising Christian, this may well be your favourite time of the year.

For others, this period can be a bit of a trial.

Christmas blues

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time. When it seems everyone else is having fun, every TV advert is happy families and, sometimes it can take all your energy to just get through an ordinary week. So lets not be too hard on ourselves.

It isn’t all tinsel, glitter and ho, ho, ho, busy mums who already have too much on their plate, let alone Christmas lists, Christmas shopping, wrapping, organising, ferrying kids to carol concerts, parties, discos and school plays! Feeling obliged to see family and travel away from home.

Here are some of the common issues that can cause and trigger Christmas blues:

  • Feeling under pressure to please
  • Loneliness
  • Family feuds
  • Finance anxieties
  • The loss of a loved one
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Overindulgence
  • Social anxiety
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

You might already be feeling a little low due to  ‘seasonal affective disorder’ (SAD for short) because of the shorter days and dark cold nights.

Here are some tips I am trying this year to help with the Christmas Blues

  1. Spend time outside: With the days being shorter and colder, it can be easy to fall into the habit of spending all your time indoors. However, the fresh air and sunlight, even on a bitter cold, cloudy day, can significantly improve your mood and health in general.
  2. Limit alcohol: I quit 3 years ago. Alcohol is more readily available than ever at Christmas, but that doesn’t mean you have to overindulge. As a depressant, alcohol can leave you feeling down and even more depressed after the initial buzz has worn off.
  3. Make a budget: Having a budget in place for your Christmas expenses, such as gifts, food and decorations might help you to feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Try to review your budget every once in a while to ensure you are sticking to it and try and start earlier in the year so December isn’t one massive bill.
  4. Limit social media: Spending too much time on social media can have negative effects on your wellbeing, especially at Christmas. Comparing your own to ‘perfect’ Christmases may leave you feeling envious or disappointed that your day doesn’t look the same.
  5. Give yourself a break and don’t judge yourself. Focus on what is going well. See who you want to see and be assertive with those you don’t Take some time out, sit quietly with a coffee and take some deep breaths and recognise all you have achieved and look around for smiling faces.

If you need to talk over Christmas here are some useful contacts.

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