Gerri, founder of Regain Recovery discusses the affects and ways to cope with the additional stresses the Christmas season can cause on our mental and physical health.

Christmas movies have touched on the issue of people suffering with a variety of mental health issues at this time of year. If we take the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” where George Bailey deals with thoughts of taking his own life, to family friendly “Jingle All The Way”, in which a father turns to alcohol after not being able to buy his son’s dream Christmas present.

Here we look at causes of additional stress and ways to elevate them.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, perceiving them to be more giving, happier and popular, especially at Christmas and we put ourselves under so much pressure to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas. It’s important to not put yourself under too much stress and a way to do this is to limit your viewing of social media and advertising over the festive period. Remind yourself that quite often social media only shows the positive side of life, but is this real?

Family expectations
Within families, we each play our role and we all have different relationships with our families. For those who aren’t close to their relatives, try not to put additional pressure on yourselves by feeling you have to go to uncomfortable family events which could lead you to relying on alcohol. Be realistic when it comes to family expectations, it may be a jolly time of the year but creating exceptionally high expectations can lead to unhappiness and arguments. 

You time
Make time for yourself. With so many festive activities happening in the lead-up to ‘the big day’ it’s very important to create time and space for you to relax and recover. Whether that’s sitting by the fire reading a book, a movie night in, or a meal out just you and your partner. This will help boost your mood and energy levels.

The key to surviving any social event, is moderation. Be aware of the amount you eat, drink and spend. Going over the top with any or all of these can leave you feeling low after the celebrations finish in the New Year. If you can avoid alcohol, do so, this will help with your energy levels, not to mention hangovers. We know this can be hard though, so moderate your alcohol and try to stay within suggested levels and don’t binge drink. Remind yourself regularly through December, ‘everything in moderation’.

If you have any questions or require more advice, contact our team today at or 0333 987 5078.

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

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