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.
You may be finding it hard to cope with the financial pressures of Christmas. This can be especially difficult if you’re already struggling with money. And for many of us, rises in the cost of living will have made things even harder.
How you cope with the costs of Christmas will depend on your circumstances. You might not find all of these tips realistic. But it may help to try some of them:
- Access financial support. You could use the Turn2Us benefits calculator to work out what support you’re entitled to. Citizens Advice has information on how to get help if you’re struggling to pay your bills. And you could call Trussell Trust’s free helpline for advice on accessing financial support.
- Make lists, plans or a budget. Noting things down can make them feel a bit more manageable or help you think more clearly. Creating a budget could also help you feel more in control of what you can spend. See Mind’s page on organising your finances for more tips. You could also use Money Helper’s free online budget planner.
- Be open with others. It can be hard to talk about money, but being honest with others can help. You may be able to agree ways to make Christmas plans free or low cost. Or they might be able to offer other kinds of support. Step Change’s festive support has information on talking to other people about money worries.
- Look for local offers or events. Local organisations, such as charities and community centres, may have free or low-cost events for Christmas. Or they may be able to offer support with things like gifts or food.
- Look for free or low-cost items online. You may be able to find free items to use as gifts or decorations online, for example through websites like Freecycle.
- Try to avoid comparisonswith the Christmas you see in adverts and social media. These often do not reflect reality and can make us feel bad about ourselves. It may help to take breaks from social media.
- Be kind to yourself. Money worries can have a big impact on our mental health. They might make us feel concerned, embarrassed or angry. And they can affect our self-esteem. Try not to blame yourself for your situation or how you’re feeling about it.
For more information about coping during Christmas, please click on the button below.
*Thank you to National Mind for the above information.