I always use to find the Christmas period quite challenging. It stemmed back from my childhood. As a child pre-abuse I loved Christmas but once the abuse started I found it daunting because it meant spending more time at home because of the school holidays. As time has gone on I have learned over the years to manage Christmas in my own way and have found a love for it again through knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and creating new memories with my own little family. This time of year can prove difficult for many survivors and it is important that you look after yourself; self-care and preservation are a must. I know this may not be the case for everyone but for those of you that do acknowledge Christmas here is 3 tips to help you through this season.
Be comfortable being you
Know it is okay to be you. The reason I say this is because when I struggled with depression I always felt it was not okay to be me, especially in my teens and early twenties when I was invited around to other peoples house for Christmas. Comments such as ’cheer up’ or ‘why are you so quiet’ always made me feel pressured to put on an act of being cheerful when I did not feel this way. Where ever you are spending the Christmas Holidays this year make sure you feel comfortable being there and that people will welcome you as you are.
Enjoy the things you like to do
If you like watching movies, spending time reading books, visiting friends or going for long walks, I would encourage you to do more of it during this holiday period. The pressure that comes with this time of year can be overwhelming. I always find when I am doing the things I love it makes whatever challenges or problems I am facing bearable. It provides me with escapism, a chance to take my mind off things. Take time to engage in things that make you happy.
Speak to someone
Don’t keep things bottled up. If you can try and talk to someone you trust. If you do not have anyone you can talk to, you can call the Samaritans as they have a 24-hour helpline or you can look on the Internet and find other options. Whether it is just to have a general catch up or to get the support it is always good to talk.
I hope you have a peaceful and blessed Christmas. Remember you are important and unique your health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance. Always look after you.