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When Christmas feels difficult

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it’s supposed to be the most joyful time of the year, but for many people the festive season can be really tough. The pressure to have a good time can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re already dealing with emotional difficulties or mental health issues.

With the additional stresses such as food and alcohol, family time and other social events, busy schedules, winter weather, etc … Christmas (and everything that comes with it) can put a lot of pressure on your mental health.

The trick is to find a way of doing Christmas on your own terms. This might mean opting out of some celebrations, or taking steps to feel more in control of how you spend your time.

Social media feeds can be unhelpful

At any point in the year, self-esteem can be affected by comparing yourselves to others. This can be made worse by social media and consumer advertising, which get amped up at Christmas time. When was the last time you scrolled down your newsfeed, saw what someone else had posted, and found yourself feeling less than great? Limiting your time on social media over the festive season might help.

Reach out and stay connected

For some, Christmas can really highlight feelings of loneliness. Isolating yourself from people is tempting when you’re struggling, but often makes things worse. You may be surprised by how many people are also feeling lonely at this time.

Ask for help if you need it. If you feel you can’t cope by yourself, or just want to talk to someone, there are ways you can get support. Reach out to someone that you trust or look for support online or on a helpline.

If you already get support from mental health services or drop-ins, check the opening times and availability over Christmas in advance.


Childline for under 18s

Visit Childline site

The Samaritans (any age)

Visit Samaritans site

Dial House and Connect Helpline (for over 16s)

Visit Leeds Survivor-led Crisis Service site

'How I cope with Christmas'

Read Megan’s blog here which includes her top tips.

Read Megan's blog

The Market Place (11-25 years)

Find drop-in times and more.

Visit The Market Place site