Supporting Your Wellbeing at Christmas
Tips, advice and links to resources available to help you cope during the holidays
Coping with Christmas...
Although Christmas is a time to celebrate, spend time with family/friends, and enjoy festivities, for many carers and disabled people it can be a stressful and often overwhelming time of year.
This page offers tips on different ways to help you support your wellbeing, along with advice, information, and resource links that you may wish to consider.
This page is only for those that are mildly affected. If you are worried about your mental health and finding it hard to cope, please get in touch with NHS 24 on 111.
Find a way to express how you feel
Try speaking to a family member, friend, or a trained professional.
If speaking to someone is too difficult, texting, online messaging, or writing down how you feel may be another option.
Find what works for you – the most important thing is to avoid bottling up how you feel.
Look after yourself
As a carer looking after people can be especially challenging at this time of year, but it is important that you look after yourself also.
Little things like a hearty meal or a good night’s sleep (if you can) is beneficial to your wellbeing.
Many people find Christmas an isolating time of year, either due to their caring role, recent bereavement, or a loved one in hospital.
Several projects are open throughout Christmas for those who find themselves alone during Christmas.
Follow an In Your Neighbourhood, Faith in the Community, DVVA Social Isolation Team or phone your local community centre or church which may be running events throughout Christmas for socially isolated people.
Speak to someone
This can be meeting a friend or a quick chat on the phone with a family member or professional.
Why not learn to video call?
Whatsapp, Zoom, Facetime & Messenger all have facilities to allow you to videocall. Seeing a friendly face, even through a screen, can help brighten your day.
We can support you to make a video call please get in touch for details of our digital drop-ins on 01382 20422.
Looking at old photos, watching movies, or listening to music you haven’t in a while can be particularly comforting at this time of year.
This may be too soon if you have recently lost someone, so perhaps writing down three things you’re grateful for regularly is an easier way to reflect.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
In a group study conducted by Hard Medical School After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
Arrange something to look forward to
Even if it is meeting a friend for a cuppa, or planning an activity. Having something to look forward to can help boost your mood.
Spend time outside
Getting outside and moving your body is beneficial to your wellbeing.
Being in nature, going for a walk, and having time away from your caring role are simple ways of improving your mental wellbeing.
You can't pour from an empty cup...
Make sure you take time for yourself doing things that YOU like or enjoy.
This could be reading, watching a favourite movie, listening to music, or having a relaxing bath.
Tips from staff
Throughout the year we have been asking our staff what they do to support their mental wellbeing.
Here are some of our favourites:
- Keep learning
Access free apps such as Duo Lingo, or borrow a cook or craft book from the library.
- Listen to a podcast
There are some amazing podcasts available on whatever topic you’re interested in.
- Try meditation
If you are new to meditation try Headspace which is a great way to start your meditation journey.
- Be creative, draw, knit, sew, or write
- Do someone that you love
Embrace the art of doing nothing, and get cosy with a hot drink, a warm blanket, and a good book.Watch this short video created by COPE Scotland on tips on how to “Coorie”
If you need to talk to someone see below a number of helplines open throughout the Christmas period:
Shout text 85258
Samaritans 116 123
Calm 0800 585 858
Young minds text 85258
Beat eating disorders 0808 801 0432
Breathing Space 0800 838587