Christmas can be such an amazing time of year. However, it can be stressful, it can hurt, and it can be the worst time of the year. This post is all about how mental health at Christmas is so important, and how you can get any help you need.
Stresses at Christmas
It’s no wonder why our mental health at Christmas suffers. There are probably 3 groups of people at Christmas:
- Those who have the seemingly perfect life, without any stresses or strains. They like to post about 100 pictures on Facebook of their activities on Christmas Day.
- Those who make compromises at Christmas to try and make as many people happy as possible. This can include spending time with ex-spouses or distant relatives for which there is a reason why they are distant.
- Those who are separated from their loved ones at Christmas. It might be that relationships have broken down, or other commitments have caused a separation on Christmas Day.
I guarantee to you that each group of people will suffer with their mental health at Christmas. All three groups hide it well, we are British after all! But it doesn’t need to be like that. It is good to talk about these things. If we don’t talk about our feelings, we can’t improve our mental health.
You are loved
There is a wonderful quote in the film, “A Wonderful Life”
“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many others lives. When he isn’t around, he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”
I guarantee that every single person reading this blog post will have someone who loves, cares and thinks about them. A lot.
Despite what this blog might show, I have found the last 5 years, post separation, difficult. Life wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t. Perhaps it never will be. However, I know that I have the love of others to hold onto. Even though I may not see Heidi for a while, and it hurts, I know that she is there, and she needs me.
Whilst I know everyone will be in a different situation, it is so important to hold on. Hold on for when things do get better, conversations are easier and relationships better. I promise that fighting for a better day is the best thing to do, because better days do happen.
Part of me writing this entire blog is to highlight the good times that can happen, eventually. A lot of people have gone through things a lot worse than me. However, I guarantee that those people can be stronger than I ever can be.
To be stronger, it is important to talk. Talking about mental health at Christmas doesn’t seem like the natural thing to do. We are programmed to talk about all the positive things about Christmas, gifts, family, holidays. However, if we don’t talk, we will never be able to reduce the stress felt at Christmas.
As such, it is good to see a public recognition of this by some companies and a realisation that things have to change.
Virgin Trains have teamed up with the charity, “Rethink Mental Illness” to promote mental health at Christmas. They have a number of public initiatives, which include:
- Painting the script of “A Wonderful Life” on the London to Glasgow route, along the platforms
- A link will be embedded within the script to information, advice and support around mental health
- “A Wonderful Life” will be available to watch on the BEAM app on Virgin Trains.
- Volunteers from Rethink Mental Health will be fundraising in stations throughout December.
You can find out more by following this link: https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/its-a-wonderful-line/
Without such public campaigns, mental health at Christmas will continue to suffer and we won’t find it easy to talk about these things. Anything that makes it easier to talk is so welcome.
Why is it so important to talk about Mental Health at Christmas … and every other time
Want to read more?
Check out this post titled “It’s ok to ask for help”
Where to go for help?
Mental Health support can be difficult to find, but the following places can and will help:
Rethink Mental Health
Tel: 03005 000 927 Monday to Friday (9.30am to 4pm, excluding bank holidays)
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 116 123 Anytime and free. You don’t need any credit on your phone and it won’t show up on your bill.
Email: [email protected]
Whilst I am not a trained counsellor in any way, I am more than happy to help and support anyone who needs help.
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