This is taken from a guide I wrote for the Peer Support Group a couple of years ago:
- Don’t put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy. If you do feel happy then acknowledge it.
- Seek out people who make you feel better (this year by phone or online) and avoid people who contribute to low mood.
- Make an effort to be more physically active. Physical activity is one of the best ways to make yourself feel better.
- Many people regain control when they set on two specific, manageable goals every day, even if they are very simple.
- Watch your intake of alcohol.
- Be careful of “shoulds” – it is better to do what is most helpful for you and your family.
- Set limitations. Realise that it isn’t going to be easy. Do the things that are special or important to you and do the best you can.
If you alone at Christmas
- See if anyone still needs volunteers
- Telephone, videocall, text, email or message friends and family however far away who you know will be supportive.
- Go for a long walk and really look at the natural world around you.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Watch or listen to programmes on television or radio that will lighten your mood or keep your mind occupied.
- Play your favourite computer games.
- Investigate groups online such as Side by Side, Time to Talk or Clic.
- Make sure you have enough prescription medications for over the holiday period.
- Make sure you have the contact details for helplines to hand.
You are not alone! Some studies have found that around 30% of people have low mood or feel depressed at Christmas.
If you are not celebrating Christmas, “celebrate yourself” instead. Find gifts for yourself, pamper yourself, go for a long walk, read a book and wear your pyjamas all day if you want to. Think SELF-CARE.