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Article published on: Monday, 05 December 2022

Whether or not Christmas is part of your life, your mental health might be affected by it happening around you.

It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us and can affect our mental health in lots of different ways.

For example, if you:

  • Feel alone or left out because everyone else seems happy when you’re not.
  • Wish you didn’t have to deal with Christmas or find it stressful because of other events in your life.
  • Feel frustrated by other people’s views of a ‘perfect’ Christmas, if these feel different to your experiences.
  • Want to celebrate with someone who’s struggling.
Mind service user quotes, 'i don't really celebrate Christmas and always enjoy taking the day as time just for me, a whole day of self-care!'

The festive period could affect your mental health in other ways too. For example:

  • Your mental health problem might make it hard for you to spend Christmas how you want.
  • Difficult and stressful experiences at Christmas could make your mental health worse.
  • Enjoying Christmas might also affect your mental health, for example if it triggers hypomania or mania.
  • It can be harder to access services that normally help you. Some of these services may be closed during the Christmas period.
  • Your experiences of previous Christmas’s may affect how you feel about this Christmas.
  • If you celebrate other religious festivals or holidays, you may feel overlooked if it feels like Christmas is given special attention.
  • New Year may also feel like a hard time, if it makes you look back at difficult memories or worry about anything in the coming year.
Mind Service User Quote, 'Christmas can be a very busy time of year, if you need a break don't feel bad about taking one'.

What can I do to get through Christmas?

If Christmas is a hard time for you, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are things you can try that might help, such as:

  • It’s ok to prioritise what’s best for you, even if others don’t seem to understand.
  • Think about what you need and how you might be able to get it.
  • Consider talking to someone you trust about what you need to cope.
  • If you’re going to be somewhere unfamiliar for Christmas, think about what you need to help you cope. Are there things you can bring to make you feel more comfortable? Or is there somewhere you can go to take a break?
  • Make a list of any services that you might want to access and their Christmas opening hours. For details about Bucks Mind’s services over Christmas, please visit our website:
  • If you’re worried about feeling lonely or isolated this Christmas, make a list of some activities to help pass the time.
  • Remind yourself that Christmas won’t last forever.
  • Set your boundaries.
  • Let yourself experience your own feelings.
  • Take time out when you need to.
  • If you can’t avoid something difficult, plan something for yourself afterwards to help reduce the stress or distress you might feel.
  • Remember, whatever you’re feeling, it’s OK to feel that way.

For more information about coping during Christmas, please click on the button below.

*Thank you to National Mind for the above information.

If you need help urgently, please click here or call NHS 111.

The Bucks Mind telephone line will be open until 4.30pm on Friday 23rd December. It will then be closed until Tuesday 3rd January 2022.

Most of our services are open up to and including Friday 23rd December 2022. They will then be closed over Christmas and New Year, reopening on Tuesday 3rd January 2022.

However, our Safe Haven (crisis support) service is open throughout the festive period, except on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

For full details of Bucks Mind’s opening hours over Christmas and New Year, please click here.

For information on community resources that are available over the Christmas period, please click on the button below.

“I've found the way of having a happiest Christmas is doing what's right for me. Making careful choices who I spend my time with and keeping in mind that it’s just one day. The interactions I have with people throughout the year are just as important.”

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