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Christmas Advice to help look after your wellbeing

Looking after your mental wellbeing over the festive period

Christmas and New Year can be a difficult time for many of us. It brings pressures and problems to bear. Here is some advice for Christmas and New Year.

Be careful about comparing yourself to others at Christmas.

Unrealistic media and advertising versions of other people’s festive celebrations can make us feel less positive. Be realistic about your own expectations. Make plans for how you will spend the time over Christmas. Build time in for yourself to treat yourself whether it be reading a new book, going out for coffee or a meal.

Participate in your local community or social groups:

Christmas can be a time of increased loneliness and isolation. Many organisations offer support at Christmas and finding out what is available in your local area may be helpful. Local libraries, community centres, social media and newspapers are good sources of information. Volunteering is one good way of reducing loneliness and having a sense of purpose if you would otherwise be spending Christmas alone. Try to connect into local groups and not spend too much time alone. You might like to go to community Christmas lunches which happen across the city.

Connect with other people in similar situations.

Don’t allow your normal routines to be pushed out of place. Try to go to your regular support groups over the holiday period for support. You could even consider going to extra meetings.

Plan to keep things problem free:

Think about what people or situations may trigger negative feelings or behaviours and figure out ways to avoid them. If going to a New Year’s Eve party might be a trigger, decide to just stop by on New Year’s Day and see the same people. Try to avoid people or places that may bring back memories of unhappy experiences or that might cause you to think about misusing substances. If you are unable to avoid these, think about planning ahead of time to cope with them as well as you possibly can. Your Key Worker can help you with this.

Keep active.

Keeping physically active can help with your mood as well as improve your health. Try to schedule in some time every day for walking, swimming or gardening (or whatever activity you prefer). These will all help you to sleep better too.

Don’t give up.

If you have a moment of frustration or sadness, then let it pass and go on. Just because you feel bad for a few minutes doesn’t mean you give up the rest of the day or use substances to deal with it. Try to let these emotions just pass through you. Remember, no emotion lasts forever, even though it might feel that way at the time. Use distractions, if possible, to turn your attention elsewhere. Use the helplines on this leaflet if you need to. These services understand how difficult this time of year can be and are ready to offer support to those who need it.


Download our Seasonal Wellbeing Advice as a PDF along with some useful local and national services available to you over this festive period. You can also pick up a printed version from our Likewise Sheffield building.