Thursday 21 December 2017

Mental Health over Christmas: Tazmin

It can be hard to put yourself first sometimes, especially at Christmas. Tazmin talks about how she prioritises self-care, and deals with the pressures of gift-giving.

- Tazmin

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

I love that it gives you a chance to connect with the people in your life, friends and family alike, who you may not have seen in a while. I always find that it’s the perfect time to catch up with old friends from school and college, and make new memories with your family. It’s also an opportunity to slow down from the busy world, which can get busier during the winter holidays, and connect with yourself – relax inside, cosy up with a good book or movie and have some time with you. It’s a very cosy period of time and there’s nothing better than a warm snuggle with yourself.

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

I find the pressure of the festivities slightly overwhelming in terms of finances and expectations. I struggled with money all through university and even though I’ve just graduated this is still no exception. Being surrounded by advertisements, Christmas markets, even daily emails surging into my inbox, I can feel a great deal of pressure to buy gifts for the people I love. I also feel like I’m a bad person if I don’t – but for someone who is in a difficult financial situation and trying to get out of it, this added stress must be ignored and put to one side. I try to remind myself that there’s more to this festive period than gifts and if the people in my life fail to understand that, it speaks more of them and nothing of me. This holiday is about spending time with people you love, playing in the snow like children again, laughing and enjoying the company of yourself. Spend time to reflect on the year and all you have achieved, rather than thinking you’ve come up short.

3.  Taking some time out from all the festivities to look after yourself can be really helpful. What do you do to help your mental health during the holidays?

The world is a busy place, especially during university, and there are always so many deadlines fast approaching or just flying straight past. Friends to see and catch up with, and family engagements to participate in. But sometimes it’s nice – and necessary – to have some time out: sit back, get cosy, and enjoy being you for a little bit. It can be truly uplifting for your well-being to be surrounded by people who you care for and love, but I’ve often found that once you’re on your own again the contrast can bring you down. Make time to bond with yourself in the ways that make you happy; like I’ve said before, I make friends with myself by getting cosy after a good day and spending the evening along with a great movie that I love, usually The Muppets Christmas Carol!

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

I think the gift I would give to myself over the holidays is a meditative retreat somewhere beautiful in the world such as Spirit Rock in California; a chance to spend some time with myself, heal, and go on an adventure to see another part of this wonderful world.

6.  What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

I understand the concept of New Year’s resolutions, that they can motivate people to change their lives or lifestyle for the better in the next year ahead. However, I make new resolutions whenever I feel the need for them to be made. I think waiting for the New Year to make a resolution prevents it from really coming true. If there’s something in your life you want to change, never wait – just do it. For example, if you are a smoker and say you’re going to quit smoking in the New Year, don’t carry the bad habit on until then, just start quitting now. Waste no time waiting. Do what needs to be done to ensure you’re happy now and for the future.

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

Hey everyone, I’m Taz. My journey suffering with depression and anxiety has been and can continue to be a difficult one; but I would not be who I am today had I not accepted my illness and work hard to get better. I have recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a First in Film and Media Production. I’ve been writing my blog Awareness for over two years and it has been truly rewarding for me. I write about the things many people fear talking about – our wonderfully complex minds. I wish to encourage anyone suffering through university and offer them a helping hand. Happy reading.

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