Mental health nurse shares tips on how to look after yourself over Christmas
You are not alone.
While Christmas is that time of year a lot of us look forward to, some of us dread it and it can be tough on people for a whole load of different reasons.
Irish healthcare provider, VIGO Health, says that Christmas can be a difficult time for many people struggling with their mental health, with added anxieties and worries at this time of year.
With services running at a reduced level and GPs closing, feelings of loneliness and isolation can develop despite being surrounded by loved ones.
There is often pressure to enjoy yourself and be jolly and with the uncertainty around the virus adding more doubt, it's important to remember that you are not alone.
According to VIGO Health, there has been a 30% increase in demand for their Message a Doctor service in the last few weeks, particularly among younger adults.
VIGO Health nurse, Eva Cunningham has shared some tips to help anyone struggling this Christmas.
"Be gentle and patient with yourself. Think about what you need. It’s okay to prioritise what’s best for you, even if others don’t understand. It may be helpful to talk to someone you trust," she said.
"Plan ahead: If there are places you don’t want to go or that may make you feel more anxious or stressed, could you avoid going or reduce the time you spend there? Ask yourself, do I really need to do this? Try to plan something nice to do after Christmas to look forward to.
"Look after yourself: Set boundaries and say no to things that aren’t good for you. Take some time out to read a book or watch a film. Give yourself what you need. If you need a break instead of doing something, let yourself do that. If you can't avoid something difficult, plan something for yourself afterwards to help reduce the stress or distress you might feel.
"Talk to people: Let them know you're struggling. It can often feel like it's just you but you’re never alone. (See support services below). You don't have to justify yourself to others. If you feel pressured to let them know that certain situations are difficult for you, tell them what they can do to help."