Many people love Christmas, but for others it can be a really tricky time: a few words for those who struggle at this time of year.

Firstly, a huge thanks just for clicking on this article. I appreciate you taking the time to do so, and first and foremost, wish you the very best.

Even in ordinary years, without all the uncertainty that still surrounds our lives, the Christmas and new year season has a habit of being a mixed one. For many, it’s a time of joy, and I’ve no wish to take away an iota of that. If that’s you: brilliant. This article isn’t really for you, but you’re very welcome to read it.

Instead, this is something for those who struggle over the festive season at the best of times. And let’s just politely say that it doesn’t appear to be the best of times.

Just a few little thoughts, and I hope they might help.

What I’ve learned over the years is that you have to approach this season the best way you can for you. That there’s levels of expectations that come with it, but if you’re not in a great place, or really not feeling it, that can be very difficult. I’d suggest it’s thus crucial to find a space for self-care. A little time out somewhere. It might be a walk, it might be switching off devices and reading a book, it might be a chat with a friend, relative or organisation.

The opposite of course is the festive season without much social contact, and that feels particularly prevalent at the moment. The advice doesn’t alter at heart, in that trying to break a cycle is hugely important. But of course, this is all easier written down than in practice.

It’s an old cliché, but it bears repeating over and over again: it is absolutely okay not to be okay.

I’d also add: it is better to admit to yourself that you’re not okay, than try and pretend otherwise.

It’s very much a season where people have a habit of putting a game face on. That also means it’s easy for others to assume that everything’s okay with you, if they just see the front that you’re putting on. I completely get not wanting to upset the metaphorical applecart over Christmas, but still: you have to find some kindness for you somewhere in the midst of it all.

I’ve been writing a post like this now for many years, right the way back to my Den Of Geek days. What I’ve learned in that time is that there’s never just one person out there struggling. That even chatting in the comments, finding a way to externalise something, can be of use. Not just to you: to others as well. No miracle cures of course, but the more of us who can puncture the pretense that everything is 100% perfect, the better I’d suggest.

You do matter. It’s a time where so many of us are feeling towards the end of our tethers. If that’s you – or even if you feel things building but you’re near the start of your tether – do try and do something about it.

The very best to you all. Take care.

 

HELPFUL ORGANISATIONS

Samaritans

Phone UK and ROI 24hrs a day, 365 days a year

116 123

Text 07725 909090

Email [email protected]

Welsh language line 7pm to 11pm 7 days a week

08001640123

https://www.samaritans.org

Mind Mental Health charity info line

0300 123 3393 Mon – Fri 9am to 6pm (closed 25th 26th Dec and 1st Jan and all bank holidays)

Text 86463

https://www.mind.org.uk

Re-Think Mental Health

0300 5000 927 10am to 2pm Mon – Fri

Email [email protected]

https://www.rethink.org

PAPYRUS

Young suicide prevention society for under 35’s

Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 – (Mon to Fri, 10am to 5pm & 7 to 10pm. Weekends and bank holidays, 2pm to 5pm)

Website: www.papyrus-uk.org


The Mix 13 to 25 year olds

0808 808 4994

Their crisis messenger text service provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK. If you’re aged 25 or under, and are experiencing any painful emotion or are in crisis, you can text MIX to 85258.

https://www.themix.org.uk

Anxiety UK

Charity providing support if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.

Phone: 03444 775 774 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5.30pm)

Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

CALM

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)

Website: www.thecalmzone.net

Men’s Health Forum

24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.

Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

Mencap

Charity working with people with a learning disability, their families and carers.

Phone: 0808 808 1111 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.mencap.org.uk

Beat – for people battling eating disorders.

Phone: 0808 801 0677 (adults) 12pm – 8pm Mon to Fri and Weekends 4pm – 8pm or 0808 801 0711 (for under-18s)

Website: www.b-eat.co.uk

Cruse Bereavement Care

Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm)

Website: www.cruse.org.uk

Refuge

Advice on dealing with domestic violence.

Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)

Website: www.refuge.org.uk

ManKind

Helping men escape domestic abuse.

Phone: 01823 334244

https://www.mankind.org.uk

Safeline

For people affected by or at risk of sexual abuse or rape.

Phone: 01926 402 498

https://www.safeline.org.uk

Switchboard LGBT+ helpline

Advice and understanding for LGBTQ+

Phone: 0300 330 0630

https://switchboard.lgbt

Email: [email protected]

Financial difficulties and debt:

The websites below offer information on where to get benefits advice and financial support.

https://www.turn2us.org.uk

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/

https://www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

https://www.entitledto.co.uk

https://www.nationaldebtline.org

https://www.stepchange.org

https://capuk.org

 

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