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Taking Care of yourself this Christmas

It’s hard to escape the noise of Christmas, with happy family filled commercials, jingles and tinsel wherever you go.

If you’re struggling this season please know you are not alone and continue reading to see how you can care for yourself at Christmas.

Your feelings are valid – It’s easy to feel like the Christmas Grinch when everyone appears to be celebrating but please do not dismiss your feelings as being unreasonable or irrational.

Christmas can be a tremendously difficult time of year. It can trigger feelings of seclusion and provoke sensitive memories which may be hard to deal with.

Know your triggers - Recognising what your triggers are – and how to avoid or manage them – is a really helpful step in self-care.

To do this, give yourself a quiet moment, a time you can be peaceful and reflect. When you’re ready write down what you feel is weighing you down and look for ways you can keep yourself safe and secure.

Triggers at Christmas could include and are not limited to:

· Financial woes

· Family stress

· Eating and drinking

· Loneliness

· Grief

· Change in routine

· Overexertion

· Social pressures and anxiety

Ways to support yourself this Christmas can include:

· Setting personal boundaries

· Practicing mindfulness and meditation

· Allowing yourself ‘me time’

· Establishing a support system (trusted friends, family, peers, mental health professionals)

· Putting in place a healthy routine

· Getting enough sleep

· Engaging in passions and hobbies that spark joy

· Volunteering or participating in community groups

· Journaling to keep track of your thoughts

· Maintaining a healthy diet and keeping hydrated

To find tips and techniques to help keep calm this Christmas visit where we have a variation of relaxation exercises, meditations and mindfulness practices.

Be kind to yourself – During any tough time self-compassion is a must. Being relentlessly self-critical can be wearing on the heart or soul so remember, be mindful about your mind.

Try talking to yourself as you would to a good friend. What would you say to a friend who was struggling? How would you encourage them and help them through?

Have the Christmas you want – At Christmas we all feel the pressure of obligations. If the festivities and socialising isn’t for you then that is perfectly OK. Put your boundaries in place and know when to take that break for ‘me time’ when things get overwhelming.

Remember, this is your holiday too and you are entitled to spend it how you so wish, whether that be with a good book or taking a long walk in the fresh air.

Connect with Others – From a trusted friend or family member to your GP or mental health professional opening up is better than carrying your burden alone. Below are some helplines which will be open at Christmas to help you if you need that extra support.

Merseycare – 0800 145 6570

Urgent mental health support

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – 0800 58 58 58

Helping anyone who is feeling suicidal with free confidential chats

Shelter – 0808 800 4444

Advice and support services offering one to one, personalised help with housing issues and homelessness

Mind – 0300 123 3393

Providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing mental health problems

Talk to Frank – 0300 123 1110

For support and advice on drugs and alcohol

Cruse Bereavement Care – 0808 808 1677

Helping people with bereavement support

Age UK – 0800 055 6112

An advice line for older people, their families, friends, carers and professionals

National Debtline – 0808 808 4000

Free, independent debt advice over the phone

Samaritans – 116 123

A helpline for anyone who needs someone to listen

At PSS Wellbeing Centres our offices will be closing from the 24th of December and back open on Tuesday 3rd January.

We wish you a safe and restful Christmas and we will see you in the New Year!

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