The Christmas season is a time of happiness and joy, creating memories with friends, family and loved ones. We associate this time of year with pretty lights, snowmen, Christmas trees, presents and hot chocolate, but there is a completely different side to the holidays that isn’t often talked about.
For many people, this is a time of high stress and overwhelming emotions. Struggles are magnified, making it difficult to slap on a smile and keep up with the ‘tidings of comfort and joy’ around them. Furthermore, people feel pressured to be out celebrating with friends, family, coworkers and people in their community.
This is the side of the holiday season that isn’t talked about often enough.
If you are struggling this holiday season, please try to be patient with yourself. Your feelings are real and valid, regardless of how many people may or may not understand what you are currently going through. If you feel as though you need some ‘you’ time, and that means skipping a Christmas party or event, then you need to prioritize yourself and your own mental well-being.
Remember that you are not alone. With approximately 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing either a mental health or addiction problem according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, it is likely that at least one person in your life is struggling this holiday. Try to keep that thought in mind as you are making plans. Pay attention to those that you care about, and reach out to those in need when the opportunity presents itself. You may be the only person reaching out a hand when they need one the most.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Alberta put together a collection of 8 key tips for mental wellness during the holiday season. These great tips address a number of different triggers, and what steps you can take to protect yourself. Share these tips with the people in your life – you never know who may be struggling quietly, hiding their battle from the world around them.
What steps do you take to protect yourself over the holiday season? Are there specific things that help you to stay centred?
30 thoughts on “The Holiday Season and Your Mental Health”
Such a helpful post, thank you for sharing Britt
Great post. Thank you for sharing these tips xx
Thank you – I hope they reach the people who need to see them
Love this list! I’m one who struggles with holidays so this was very helpful!
Thank you – I am glad that you find it helpful!
Do you know what, I think this is my favourite Christmas blog post. It’s so good you’re showing the other side that’s not all full of joy when others may be struggling.
SAD is a real disorder and loneliness can affect anyone of any age. It’s really good you’re talking about it so I’ll be linking it in my next Blogmas ????
Thank you! I know that I often struggle during this time, and it kills me that it’s not talked about more often than it is because I know of a lot of friends with similar experiences – it’s incredibly common!
I relate to this post so much Britt and think it’s fantastic that you’ve written it. I’ve found it hard this season as it’s my first Christmas since being diagnosed with OCD and it doesn’t feel the same. It’s still exciting and I love it but there’s something different and I do find I put tons of pressure on myself to do things when, as Number 4 says, I need to pace myself!
Thanks for posting this – such an important post!!
I’m glad that it was able to help you! Remember, your health is priority #1. If that means that your celebrations are a little different than someone else’s, then so be it!
This is so needed as Xmas can be so hard for those who have mental issues as it can be a time of great loneliness and forced happiness
That’s the biggest problem – those that are struggling feel like they have to force a smile because this isn’t talked about often enough
thank you for these tips, ive been feeling really down lately, which probably doesnt help with my added cold
Being physically sick on top of struggling mentally/emotionally definitely can make it worse! Try to remember to take care of yourself, you can’t take care of everyone else if you’re running on empty!
This is a great post. Not many people have the courage to talk about the darker side of the holidays. Sharing this today. 🙂
It only makes it more difficult for those struggling for feeling as though they can’t share that they are having a hard time. I just hope opening the conversation will allow people to realize that they aren’t alone
These are some great infographics. You’re right, Christmas can be such a hard time for so many people
I was very impressed when I came across them so I definitely wanted to share!
This is such a helpful post ????. It’s so important to take care of yourself when life gets busy. I love the suggestions: be gentle with yourself and look at the future optimistically. Such comforting and useful advice you are sharing, thank you ???? xx
Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com
Thank you! I was so impressed with the info that they had put out that I had to share it!
This was such a well thought out and worded post! Thank you for caring so much.
Thank you for reading it!
I’m someone who struggles around the festive period so really appreciate this post x
I hope that you are taking care of yourself and know that you are definitely not alone!
Britt this is so wonderful! This year more than ever I’ve been thinking about the pure consumerism, and how sometimes we don’t think of others who associate this time with loss, or maybe are stressed, or under financial strain.
Sometimes I wish Christmas was a more family/friend/ get-together centric holiday as oppose to the way consumerism has manipulated it 🙁
I feel like we can make it more that way, but its going to take a dedication to focusing on just that. Luckily, living the life of a musician has opened my eyes to other areas of the holiday. Christmas for me is more about the music and the parades, performing and watching families gather to enjoy them, and through that I’ve learned to really value it more.
This is such an important, thought provoking post Britt, thank you so much for sharing. x
Thank you for reading!
Such a truly thoughtful post and a really important message! Thanks for sharing.
Faye Jessica | fayejessica.co.uk
Thank you! I really think it needs to be talked about more often!