We can’t be there in person to help and support you in a moment of crisis, but there are other options available to you if you can’t turn to someone you trust. By giving us your postcode (or one nearby to where you are right now) we can let you know about services in your area. Remember: this moment will pass; you won’t always feel the way you do right now.
If in doubt always call 999.
You can also sign up to Alumina, our online support for mental health and wellbeing here:
‘Tis the season to be jolly?
Christmas isn’t far away, and we’re all supposed to be excited. Or so the songs and the shops and the films all tell us. But for a lot of us, Christmas is something we dread, and look for a way to survive. And all kinds of support services – charities, helplines, the NHS – tell us that they see a lot of people over Christmas for whom this is actually the worst time year.
Why is Christmas so hard? Is it something about Santa? Or even baby Jesus?
You might have specific reasons why it’s tough for you. Your family situation might be difficult, awful, painful. You might have lost people this year that you would otherwise have spent time with, and so Christmas now feels unbearably lonely. It might be the anniversary of something bad. It might be that the expectations, the pressure, all that socialising and the things you’re meant to do, cause you high levels of anxiety that are difficult to manage. Or maybe it's something else, something I haven't even thought of, something that no-one else really understands.
There are also plenty reasons why it’s an inherently stressful time – for everyone, even those who are pretending it’s all FINE. Sometimes the people who are working the hardest to make everything AMAZING are the people who are finding it hardest underneath.
Everyone seems to have expectations for Christmas. Presents. “Fun”. People. Food. And especially when we’re young we don’t get a lot of say in all of that. We either have to join in with everything, or maybe we don't get to do any of it. We don’t get to choose who we’re with or how we celebrate. Other people make choices for us that might not actually be the best thing for our well-being. And we’re supposed to go along with it.
So maybe the first thing to do this Christmas is just to be honest with ourselves. Admit what we don't like, what we wouldn't choose, what doesn't feel like a healthy choice for us. And then think of somebody we might be able to confide in. It might be someone in your family, but it really might not be. It could just be a friend. But have an honest conversation about what is hard for you at Christmas and what you wish you didn't have to go through.
Just being able to tell someone helps.
It's really important that you take care of yourself this Christmas. The presents and the food will be long gone and forgotten, but you'll still be here - you're more important than the rest of it.
We’ve got a blog coming later this week with our top survival tips, but in the meantime, remember – there’s nothing weird about finding Christmas tough.