Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mental Health Over Christmas: Lauren

Lauren talks about how she copes over the Christmas holidays and what she does to help her mental health.
- Lauren Brooks

Although Christmas time can be a lot of fun, it can also be an incredibly tough time of the year too. Therefore, we want to bring this to light and ensure nobody feels alone.

1. What do you enjoy most about the winter holiday period?

Personally, for me, I really enjoy Christmas as it’s the time of year when you can get time off from school, university or work and spend some quality time with your family, which is great, especially for someone who’s very family orientated like I am. Also, I enjoy being nice and snug inside, especially during occasions when it is snowing or icy outside, there’s no better feeling than having your heating on full blast during winter!

2. What do you find most difficult during the holidays?

I think one of the most difficult things about Christmas time is that when I got really ill with my OCD and Depression, it was during the Christmas period about two years ago, so it is always at the back of my mind, thinking that it could happen again, and that Christmas could prove to be a trigger for it all to come back again. Also, I think I struggle without routine, as if I don’t have some sort of structure in place, then I find my Depression creeping back on me, so holidays are difficult for me to try and stick to a routine.

3. What do you do to help your mental health during the holidays?

One of the most vital parts, I think can really help is basic self-care, especially for Depression sufferers, as I often find that a pyjama day may be harmless for others, for me it can seriously lower my mood and affect it for the rest of the day, so its really important that I get dressed so I set myself up for the prospect of doing something. Also, setting myself a routine can help immensely, as if I’m constantly doing things then I’m not giving my mood a chance to sink. Additionally, I think exercise is a great help, as I tend to feel better especially when I’m in a bad mood after a bit of moving around.

4. What present would you give yourself over the holidays?

I would give myself a nice holiday! Just over the Christmas holidays whilst I’m off university or during Easter, so I could give myself a chance to relax and refresh my mind, for me, holidays are especially important for my own mental well being as they give me a chance to just let go of any pressures or stress at home.

If you would like to get involved in our Christmas blogging series, you can find all of the details here.

"Hi, I'm Lauren, I am a first year student studying Social Work. I suffer from Depression, OCD and anxiety, I am writing for Student Minds to try and help others."

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