It’s the most wonderful time of the year for some people, but for others, Christmas and New Year can be stressful, lonely or depressing. Regardless of if you have a mental health condition or not, this feeling of emptiness can affect anyone. At Discova, we’ve prepared a little list of ways you can help to keep yourself on track over the festive season.

1. Choose wisely how you wish you spend your time.

You don’t need to do everything. You should only make an effort to attend the events/zoom calls that bring joy to you. Don’t feel obligated to have to take part or feel guilty when you make the decision to skip it out.

2. Reconnect with friends and family with spice apple cider or festive coffee blends instead of alcohol.

Alcohol can cause anxiety, depression, bring on negative feelings and cause your sleep pattern to be disturbed. We all enjoy a festive tipple but be sure to keep an eye on your intake.

3. Get outdoors.

Walk with family or walk alone. Take in the weather and breathe!
When seasons change and Christmas and New Year approaches, it is easy to drink and eat more than usual. By getting outside and staying active, you are not only protecting your physical but mental health too. You’d be surprised how much better you can feel from just spending some time in the outdoors.

4. Set realistic expectations.

This year has been a whirlwind. We also know that this winter is very different from the ones that have come before it. Set realistic expectations of how the Christmas and New Year period will go. Remember, conflict in families is prevalent over the holidays and very typical. Try not to set expectations for family or time with friends either. If you find yourself becoming caught up in conflict, take time out. Go for a walk, enjoy good music, practice some breathing techniques or read a book you can get lost in.

5. Put aside a day just for you.

Carve out one day or one morning for yourself. Do what is relaxing and joyful for you. Taking care of yourself isn’t just good for you either, showing yourself some kindness can also go along way to helping you feel good.

6. Reach out if you are struggling.

We’ve put together a list of services by region in the UK that you can reach out to if things are getting too much. There is absolutely no shame in needing help so make sure to get the support you need over this festive season. Download the PDF here