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Top tips to keep you smiling this Christmas

The festive season is once again upon us. We hope it will be an opportunity for you to celebrate with your loved ones and spread some joy.

However, for some people it can be a stressful period of the year. We can experience financial pressure, feelings of obligation and an overwhelming need to make Christmas a ‘success’. Others might simply be feeling lonely and isolated. Christmas comes at the darkest time of year when Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a form of depression experienced during particular times of year – can bring additional challenegs to your everyday life.

And of course, many of our health, social-care and emergency service staff will be working their normal shifts over the Christmas holiday.

We want you all to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation over the holiday season. Here are some tips to help you look after your wellbeing this Christmas:

  • Do what makes you happy – find meaningful ways to spend your time. Doing things you enjoy can help you feel better
  • Limit your social media usage – people tend to share their best experiences via social channels and that includes the ‘perfect Christmas’. It may seem that everybody is having more fun than you and excessive exposure can have a direct negative impact on feelings of loneliness, anxiety and low mood
  • Watch what you eat and drink – over indulging on sugar and alcoholic drinks can have a negative impact on your mood
  • Do something for others – volunteer your time or skills or connect with someone who may be struggling
  • Reach out to someone – whatever you are going through it can help to talk about it. Whether it’s a friend or professional, there is always someone who wants to listen
  • Look after yourself – do things in moderation and don’t take on too much.
  • And most importantly; be kind to yourself.

It’s important that we stay safe and help to prevent the spread of coronavirus this Christmas. England has moved to Plan B in response to the Omicron variant. Find out what has changed and familiarise yourself with the latest Government coronavirus guidance.

If you need help

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, there is support available 24/7 all over the country. You can find your local urgent helpline at nhs.uk/urgentmentalhealth

The Mental Health Foundation have some great tips on how to look after yourself this Christmas.

Parenting can be challenging over the Christmas holiday. YoungMinds offer some practical tips on how to support your child with their feelings and behaviour, as well as mental health conditions.

Helplines such as the Samaritans (116 123) can provide free emotional support for anyone going through a difficult time, and their phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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