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Christmas Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Christmas Stress, Anxiety and Depression - What to do about it

We are exposed to viewing Christmas as a happy time when we are bombarded with television adverts, music in retail outlets and not to mention an abundance of decorations for sale as early as September. Seeing twinkling Christmas lights in the dark months leading up to the big day can be good to see but for some dread lies ahead.

Feeling stress, anxiety, or depression at this time of year can be due to any of the following:

· Money worries

· Loss of a loved one

· Loneliness

· Relationship issues

· Being ill or in hospital

· Living away from home

· Working over the Christmas period

· Difficult memories

· Christmas shopping for food or gifts

· Dreading spending time with relations

· Being single

· Alcoholism

· Eating Disorders

· Expectations put on ourselves or by others

· Office parties

· Arguments over Christmas arrangements

· Domestic Violence

So that’s a long list and no doubt you may have added to it in your mind too! So, no wonder we can feel stressed, anxious, or depressed at this time of year.

What can we do?

  • Talking about how we feel prior to the event can sometimes help and iron out any issues we might anticipate are on the horizon.

  • Distraction can help overcome anxious feelings. This can be engaging in a hobby or pastime unrelated to the festive season.

  • Moving at your pace this is important and don’t feel you have to get caught up in the whirlwind of social media and other platforms.

  • Keep Active and go for walks or engage in a new exercise regime as this will of course help your physical health as well as your mental health.

  • Bake or be creative in the Kitchen in some other way – a good spring clean of cupboards and date checking can be a way to feel satisfaction.

  • Listen to a prepared play list of music to shift your mood or listen to some mindfulness music or u-tube clips

  • Be kind to yourself but don’t over do things. Remember food affects your mood as does alcohol. Drinking too much coffee or caffeine drinks can also alter our mood.

  • Above all make a plan of alternative things to do and if you are really feeling low a list of numbers you can ring.

  • Remember This will Pass and January will soon be on its way and March is just around the corner as the nights will become lighter before you know it.

If you are still struggling leading up and during the Festive Season, please take a note of the helplines below:

Crisis/Suicide/Helplines: United Kingdom & Ireland

National Suicide Helpline UK offers a supportive listening service to anyone throughout the UK with thoughts of suicide or thoughts of self-harm. They are open 24/7.

Tel: 0800 689 5652

Samaritans UK & Ireland offers 24-hour emotional support to anyone in distress or at risk of suicide throughout the UK & Ireland. They have 201 branches open 365 days a year, where people can also talk in person.

Tel: 116123

Calm Campaign Against Living Miserably Help provides support for young men aged 15-35 on issues that include depression and suicide.

Tel: 0800 585858

HopeLine UK is a free, confidential, non-judgmental space to talk openly about your thoughts of suicide.

Tel: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07860039967

Lifeline (N.Ireland)

For anyone in N.Ireland who is in distress or despair. Immediate help on phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Face-to-face counselling can be arranged, also befriending, and mentoring. Issues dealt with include suicide prevention, self-harm, abuse, trauma, depression, and anxiety.

Tel: 0808 808 8000

Premier Lifeline

Helpline providing a listening service, information, emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective Helpline providing a listening service, information, emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective

Tel: 0300 111 0101

Breathing Space provides emotional support and assistance to people in Scotland who are depressed, in crisis or at risk of suicide. They are operating from 6 pm to 2 am.

Tel: 0800 83 85 87

Scotland’s domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline is open 24 hours a day to help and give emotional support to anyone with experience of domestic abuse or forced marriage.

Tel: 0800 027 1234

Anxiety UK works to relieve and support those living with anxiety and anxiety-based depression by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy.

Tel: 03444 775 774

Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone in the UK who is experiencing a mental health problem. Their lines are open 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday.

Tel: 0300 123 3393

Tel: 0121 262 3555 (Birmingham)

SANE provides emotional support, guidance, and information to anyone in the UK who is affected by mental illness, including families, friends and carers. They are open from 10 am to 10 pm, Monday - Friday.

Tel: 0300 304 7000

Childline 24-hour free, private and confidential services to children and parents throughout the UK. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, they can help you anytime.

Tel: 0800 1111

Refuge offers 24-hour services and support to women and children in the UK who are experiencing domestic abuse.

Tel: 0808 2000 247


National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children offers 24-hour help and support to children in the UK who are experiencing abuse or neglect.

Tel: 0808 800 5000

National Gambling Helpline offers 24-hour free and confidential support, information and advice on problem gambling to people in the UK, either via telephone or online.

Tel: 0808 8020 133

Narcotics Anonymous offers support and advice to people in the UK who have a drug problem. The NA Helpline is open until midnight, seven days a week.

Tel: 0300 999 1212

National Dementia Helpline provides information, advice and emotional support to anyone in the UK affected by dementia. They are open seven days a week from 9 am–5 pm.

Tel: 0300 222 11 22

Cruse Bereavement Care

Cruse Bereavement Care offers a listening ear and emotional support to anyone in the UK who has lost someone they love or has been affected by a bereavement. The helpline is open Monday-Friday 9:30 am -5:00 pm.

Tel: 0808 808 1677

Rape Crisis National Helpline offers confidential emotional support, information and referral details to women and girls in the UK who have experienced sexual violence. Open between 12:00 -14:30 and 19:00 - 21:30 every day of the year.

Tel: 0808 802 9999

Victim Support provides 24-hour confidential support and information to people in England and Wales who have been affected by crime.

Tel: 0808 168 9111

Mencap offers support and services to people in the UK who have learning disabilities. They are open from 9 am to 3 pm.

Tel: 0808 808 1111

Mental Health Matters Helpline offers 24-hour emotional support to people in Hertfordshire, Coventry & Warwickshire, Stafford, Midlands & East Veterans, Midlands & East Veterans Service, Leicestershire & Rutland Recovery Service and Plymouth who are in distress or at risk of suicide.

Tel: 0800 052 0658(Hertfordshire)

Tel: 0800 616 171 (Coventry & Warwickshire)

Tel: 0800 0130 626 (Stafford)

Tel: 0300 323 0139 (Midlands & East Veterans Service)

Tel: 0300 323 0187 (Leicestershire & Rutland Recovery Service)

Tel: 0300 323 0101 (Plymouth)

Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service - Connect Helpline provides emotional support and information for people living in Leeds who are in crisis, anxious, depressed or lonely. They are open from 6 pm-2 am every night of the year.

Tel: 0808 800 1212

Tel: 0808 801 0606 / 07537 410022 (Gloucestershire - Monday to Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm)

Tel: 0808 800 1010 (North East Lincolnshire - Monday-Friday, 5 pm-9 am)

Tel: 0808 800 2073 (Sahayak - languages available: Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindu, and Urdu or English. Monday, Wednesday 4 pm-7 pm and Tuesday, Thursday 12noon-3pm.)

Tel: 0808 801 0440 (Sheffield - 24/7)

Rural Support provides a listening and signposting service for farmers and farming families across Northern Ireland through its helpline. The Helpline can provide information and advice on mental health assistance and many other issues. All calls are confidential and the helpline operates fro

m 8 am - 11 pm, Monday to Friday.

Tel: 0800 138 1678

Self-injury Support offers emotional support, listening and signposting for women affected by self-injury. They are open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 7 pm - 9.30 pm.

Tel: 0808 800 8088

SupportLine offers emotional support, advice, and information, particularly for people in the UK who are socially isolated, vulnerable, at-risk, or experiencing any form of abuse. They are open every Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 6 pm to 8 pm.

Tel: 01708 765200

Edinburgh Crisis Centre offers 24-hour support to people in Edinburgh, Scotland who are dealing with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, self-harm, suicide, or hearing voices.

Tel: 0808 801 0414

Maytree offers confidential advice and support to people across the UK who are in distress or at risk of suicide.

Tel: 020 7263 7070

Hope Project provides short-term emotional and practical support for men aged 30-64, specifically those who are in psychological distress or have recently self-harmed.

Tel: 0117 909 6630


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