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Christmas plus coronavirus does not need to cause mental health crises

How to look after your mental health during the holidays with Covid-19

The UK Christmas period has long since been recognised as a time of crisis for many people’s mental wellbeing. If your ongoing mental health concerns are exacerbated by festive stresses, or the Christmas pressures are tipping your wellbeing balance into overwhelm, you are not alone. This time of year, promoted for its cheer, merriment and generosity amongst friends, families and strangers, can actually make a lot of us feel sad, stressed and lonely.

This year comes with an extra helping of distress to digest. Needless to say, the coronavirus pandemic has almost cancelled Christmas across the globe. What remains of the festivities is fraught with health anxiety and social limitations. The chances of mental health Christmas crises are likely to increase exponentially.

If this rings more than a jingle bell, again, you are not alone. Yet, mass awareness of mental health is also going viral — in a good way. The first step to protect yourself against any psychological upset, is to become aware of your own potential pitfalls, then you can work out how to, and who can help you, avoid them. Here are a few common reasons why mental health may suffer, and how the addition of Covid-19 adds an extra icy icing on the Christmas cake. Then read on to find some tips on how to tackle the Covid Christmas conundrum.

Reasons to be stressful:

Plus Covid: You may want to be with family members but this could endanger their health. You may be choosing whether to let the children see their grandparents, or protect them from potential infection.

Plus Covid: This year we may not be able to see any of our friends at all! For some, this is the only time of year they can share the festive ambience and let go!

Plus Covid: Perhaps you feel despondent that you don’t get the chance to show off your Christmas creativity, or there is even greater pressure to make sure the people you are spending Christmas with aren’t let down by the restrictions.

Plus Covid: It may feel even more like life is sliding down a downward slope.

Plus Covid: You may have been in this situation for most of the year, and feelings of isolation are worsened as you see people celebrate together. You may have lost someone in the pandemic.

Plus Covid: Plans are constantly being changed by the government with knock on effects in everyone’s personal lives. This can make everything from travel plans to eating times unpredictable and a cause of anxiety.

Plus Covid: You didn’t even get to go Christmas shopping. The retailer, Amazon is taking over the world before our eyes. The global economic crash. “Enough!” I hear you cry!

Plus Covid: Restrictions were already in place over services such as health and support groups, travel, socialising. Everyone must be extra prepared as Christmas takes over and the UK shuts down.

Tips to get you through:

So if all of that is making you feel like a big Christmas cracker, then let’s move on to the advice for getting through it all as unscathed as possible:

So honestly, it’s going to be ok. It’s just a couple of days when everyone goes a little bit Christmas crazy. Yes, there is the extra elephant in the room this year, but hang in there, it too will pass. Stay as safe as you can, and protect strangers as well as loved ones.

If you do need an extra incentive to get you through, or a little bit more twinkly light at the end of the 2020 tunnel, EverMind will be launching early in the New Year with a brand new online psychotherapy concept to bring mental health support to one and all!

Watch this space and have a very merry mini mentally well Christmas everyone!

EverMind is a telemedicine platform that links people around the world with highly qualified psychotherapists from emerging nations.