Tuesday 13 December 2016

All I want for Christmas is... my mental health

T/W for mental illness.

Christmas can be a really difficult time for people suffering with mental health problems; it's always busy, there's a lot of alcohol involved, the pressure to be filled with Christmas cheer and so on and so forth. The past couple of years, I've found Christmas really difficult. It was my grandad's favourite time of year, and we always spent it with him - since he died a few years ago, I've always been a bit upset around Christmas. Being with all my family, but without him, is still hard - but I'm determined to whack a smile on my face and enjoy this Christmas.

That being said, you don't have to. Christmas can suck if you're mentally ill, and the people around us need to understand that mental illness doesn't discriminate, it doesn't take holidays and if we're sad or anxious at Christmas, then we're sad or anxious at Christmas. There's arguments, there's extra stress, there's so much to do.

But Christmas isn't the most important thing in the world - it's just another day, and you don't have to make it the centre of your life. In the days leading up to it, make sure you take time out for yourself - go to the cinema, have a bath, watch a film that isn't sodding Elf or Home Alone.

This post isn't much, but it's to say that you're not alone at Christmas, even if you feel like you are. Reach out to your friends and loved ones or even to strangers because there'll always be somebody that can listen, making you smile or distract you. Remember that Christmas is about love, and you are ultimately so loved.

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