Supporting you through the festive period

by Ezra Hewing | 08 Dec 2021

For some, Christmas may be filled with much excitement, but for others, Christmas can be a stressful time, prompting them to seek help with stress, anxiety, depression and other difficult feelings. Our Head of Education at Suffolk Mind, Ezra Hewing provides you with this advice to help you better cope with the festive period.

Christmas is a time of year when you can get key emotional needs met – spending time with people we care about is great for our needs for emotional connection and attention. However, not everyone feels the same way and may be lacking in needs like privacy, time for yourself and control over the festive period.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, so here are five tips that may help with supporting you through the festive period:

  1. We may feel as though we must go out to every Christmas event that people invite us to which can sometimes be overwhelming. So instead have a think about the relationships that are the healthiest and which mean the most to you (don’t ever share that list with anyone by the way) and choose which events you really feel able to go to.
  2. It can be very busy if you’re hosting guests, getting caught up in the rush of things, cooking, wrapping presents…. the list goes on. Why not book some time in for just you, to meet your need for privacy? Be free from distractions too – people, your mobile phone and dare I say it, Christmas songs. This will help you to calm down and relax during the festive season.
  3. Surviving the new year sales – advertisers are very skilled at getting us to spend money that we don’t have on things that we don’t need. Before you spend money that will leave you without during January and possibly February too – ask yourself do you really need this? This will help with your need for control once the Christmas period is over. 
  4. It’s easy to find ourselves slumped in front of the screen, stuffed with food, finding it difficult to move and beginning to feel a little lethargic and low in mood. Book a time with yourself every day, and perhaps with other people too, to wrap up warm and go out for a walk, to lift your mood and get moving again. Moving is so important for good mental wellbeing.
  5. Meaning and purpose is an incredibly important emotional need. One way of getting meaning and purpose is for doing things for other people. Perhaps you could give away things you don’t need after Christmas to charities and those who are less advantaged or maybe you’ll get involved in volunteering. Suffolk Mind has a number of volunteering opportunities you can get involved in, click here for more details.
by Ezra Hewing

Ezra Hewing is Head of Education at Suffolk Mind and a Human Givens Therapist. Since joining Suffolk Mind in 2009, he has grown our busy workplace wellbeing service, training frontline mental health workers, doctors, nurses, substance abuse workers, members of the emergency services and heads of organisations, amongst others, in how best to understand and support emotionally healthy workplaces. He holds an MSc in the psychology and neuroscience of mental health from the internationally renowned Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, where he researched REM sleep and mental ill health, with a focus on the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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