Mental Health tips for the Christmas period
By Mental Health North East
Christmas is traditionally a time for celebration. But for some people the festive season can intensify mental health difficulties, says Mental Health North East.
And this year the problem is likely to be even worse, with the economic downturn leading to Christmas money worries for many.
So while many people will be looking forward to having time off work, for some the impact of Christmas is increased stress, family conflict or alcohol misuse. For others it is loneliness and isolation from friends and family. For people who have suffered bereavement the feeling of loss and sadness can be especially poignant at Christmas.
This year Mental Health North East Mental (MHNE), a coalition of hundreds of third sector and voluntary organisations that provide mental health services in the north east of England, has issued advice to anyone who experiences mental health difficulties, feelings of anxiety or stress, during the Christmas and New Year period.
MHNE Chief Executive Lyn Boyd said: “Christmas and the New Year period can be a difficult time for many reasons, but there is always someone to talk to, be it friends and family members or support services. It is important that people reach out for the help that’s offered when they need it.”
Mental Health North East’s tips are:
Keep busy – don’t make Christmas the be all and end all. Do the things you always enjoy, like walking or going to the cinema.
Volunteer - There’s a huge feeling of satisfaction from volunteering and many charities and organisations need help at Christmas.
Get up and exercise – it reduces stress and the serotonin your body creates gives your mood a lift.
Keep healthy – all that eating and drinking makes us lethargic. Eat plenty of fruit and veg and it will make you feel more energetic.
Phone a friend – talk to people who care, even if you can’t be with them at Christmas. And remember, there are many charities who arrange get togethers at Christmas so you don’t have to be alone.
Many of MHNE's member groups undertake vital work to support individuals over the festive period. If you are experiencing mental health problems this Christmas, or experiencing feelings of loneliness or depression, please check the MHNE website www.mhne.co.uk for more information.