Look after yourself

Friday 21st December 2018 (12.09pm)

Its that time of year again, only 4 sleeps until the white bearded man in a red suit makes his way down the chimney to eat your mince pies and drink your whisky or milk.

Today is traditionally called ‘Black Friday’ or the renamed ‘Bleak Friday’ (I have read ‘Mad Friday’ today) where office workers log off, schools are out until the new year and it is time to celebrate. There will be many Christmas parties going on over the next few days. You may enjoy, but you may hate every minute of it. If like me I would go to show my face but feel socially inept.  I didn’t get an invite to my works ‘do’ this year. Not that I would have gone anyway.  The thought would have been nice though.

Whilst for many, Christmas is a time of excitement and joy, taking time out of the work place and spending time with family. For others, it will be a time of sadness, loneliness and dread. Some people will face their first Christmas without a loved one, others will be worried about pleasing those around them, putting on ‘the happy face’ whilst secretly wanting the world to swallow them up. Some will be worried about debt which they may have landed in to buy the new gadget or toy. The person sitting at the table with a hidden eating disorder will be worried about all of the food being put in front of them. Some will sit alone and not speak to a single person all day; whilst others may drown themselves in alcohol to dull the pain.

Some tips from me

I am no trained counsellor or therapist and these points are just some things I have thought about which may help. If you have your own coping mechanisms and ideas then please draw upon them.

1. Put yourself first

This is alien to most people, especially at Christmas when you are trying to make others happy. This in itself is draining and can lead to increase stress and anxiety. If you are becoming overwhelmed then remove yourself from the situation. Take a few minutes to yourself, practice mindfulness or any other technique which you use to rebalance yourself.

2. It is ok not to be ok 

Remember you are not the first person or the last to feel the way you do. There will be many others in exactly the same position. You are not alone and you matter, no matter what you may think about yourself or the situation. Remember that it is ok not to be ok. You will get through it a better and stronger person.

3. Talk

If you need to talk to someone then please do. Never think that you are a burden, even on Christmas day.  Friends and family would rather you talk it out then suffer in silence. Don’t let things fester in your head. A festering brain has a habit of making things worse. There are always professionals working so don’t be afraid to pick up your phone.

4. Do more of what you enjoy

Make time to continue to do what helps you. That may involve going for a run or walk, reading book, listening to music or writing. There is no harm in ‘checking in’ with yourself.

5.  Everything in moderation

It is easy to overindulge at Christmas. Too much food and drink can impact on us physically and mentally. Also make sure that you get plenty of rest.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Stay safe and look after yourself.

Some contacts if you need them. There are of course more and perhaps some local to your area. **Taken from Heads Together**


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