How Can Christmas impact our mental health?
Although Christmas is traditionally a period of joy, friends and family celebrating together, and festive fun, it isn’t for everyone. We might feel sad if we’ve lost someone close to us that we’d usually celebrate the day with. We might be battling our own wars with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma or a myriad of mental health disorders that don’t take a break over the Christmas period.
Financial worries rocket at this time of year as parents feel they have to do the most for their families. We may feel trapped with certain family members with whom we can’t be our whole selves with, as generations clash or may get zoom fatigue. Worse yet, we may be trapped in a dangerous situation and feel we can’t call anyone as services are often closed during this time of year.
Even worries of getting the day perfect with a military precision that Monica from Friends would be proud of, can induce anxiety in us. Not to mention, Covid. Yes it had to be mentioned. Not being able to see all or perhaps any of our loved ones has induced many of us into tears.
I know I’ll be missing much of my family around the tree this year, as my favourite person (my sister), won’t be there to celebrate. It’s a sad tale of tiers and tears.
No doubt, I am grateful to be fortunate enough to be able to zoom my loved ones and feeling content right now. For those of you who may need to seek out extra support for whatever reason, the following is a list of organisations whose helplines are open even during this Christmas period.
The following are all open on Christmas day and throughout the festive period.
- Samaritans (116 123) – for emotional distress, or suicidal thoughts
- BEAT (0808 801 0677) – for eating disorders support
- Side by Side – online peer mental health support group
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (0800 58 58 58) – for suicidal thoughts, poor mental health
- The Compassionate Friends (0345 123 2304) – for bereavement support
- National Domestic Abuse Helpline (0808 2000 247) – for domestic violence
- Shout (85258) – crisis helpline
- The Silver Line (0800 470 80 90) – for support for lonely, older people over 55
- Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) (0300 111 5065) – for anyone bereaved or affected by suicide
- Switchboard (0300 330 0630) – support for LGBTQ+
- NHS (111) – general medical advice line for physical and mental health