Saturday 17 December 2016

Christmas and Mental Health Support

Claire writes about why the holidays can be hard and how much receiving a supportive card can mean.
 -  Claire Eastham

It’s “the most wonderful time of the year.” Christmas trees, presents and bright lights wherever you look. How could you possibly feel anything but happiness? Well… because you have depression or anxiety. As much as I’d like to think that mental health conditions give way to the Christmas break, I’m afraid they don’t. In fairness, neither would a cold or a broken bone. Can you imagine? “oh its Christmas, I best get my arm out of this cast.”

The holidays can be hard if you suffer from a mental health issue. On top of everything else, it makes you feel guilty for not being happy when the rest of the world is. However, this is all part of the trick. Both anxiety and depression have ‘bully like’ characteristics and guilt will be used to punish you. Remember, it’s ok to feel exactly how you want to feel. Certainly, don’t curl up with it and hide yourself away from the festivities, but also, allow yourself to feel sad, anxious or low. Suppressing feelings will only strengthen them. After a while, you might find that the interactions, food, games and general vibe of the day will naturally start to have a positive impact. So just go with it.

I’m a big believer in kindness and words of support. Having someone tell you that they care and will be there if you need help, can be incredibly effective. That’s why when I spotted the Student Minds Christmas Card campaign I jumped at the chance to spread the word! Make a donation and they will send a card with a personal message of support to either yourself or a friend.

One of the reasons why I love Student Minds is because they seek to empower students, with the knowledge that they CAN look after their mental health. It’s something that I wish had been around when I was at university.

You have five days to sign up, so do it NOW… like this second!

Claire Eastham is an award winning mental health blogger and her book We’re All Mad Here is available now. 

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