It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Well, for me it is anyway. Christmas is my favourite time of year. I know that it’s not a holiday celebrated by everyone and in some cases, a holiday that’s not enjoyed by everyone, but for me it’s the most wonderful time of year (quite literally quoting Christmas songs now but that’s acceptable right?)
Whilst I strive to be positive as much as possible, I am only human and just like you, I have days where I really struggle with my mental health. I’ve had a few wobbles in the past few weeks and I am sure there will be many more to come. That’s the tricky thing with anxiety and depression, just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, it will place it’s grasp on your shoulders just to let you know that it’s still there. I think it’s easy to look at someone who seemingly appears to ‘have it together’ and question why they are experiencing difficult times – I’m sure most of us have done that at some point. The important thing to remember is, it doesn’t matter if you have the perfect job, the perfect relationship, good health, or the best friends and family, because mental health is completely separate from that. If your life is more advantageous than others, that does not diminish your struggles. You could have everything you ever wanted and still feel completely empty.
Do I “have it together” Absolutely not.
Do I have the perfect life? Not in the slightest.
What I have, is the ability to recognise my triggers and understanding my coping mechanisms (which I’ve mentioned previously). I’ll be honest, keeping your mindset in a positive place is a challenge. It’s not easy. I work hard every single day to stay well. It’s not something I talk about daily because I guess now it’s just a part of my life, but yes, believe it or not I am in a constant battle with my own head. (Lucky for me I also have a head full of random and wonderful thoughts so it’s not all bad up there).
And this is why I love Christmas. I love Christmas for the lights, the decorations, the songs, the food, the ridiculous jumpers, the baileys, the mulled cider, the cheesy films, the laughter, the drama on British soaps (yes I am that person) I love the Harry Potter movie marathons that get played weekly in the lead up to the big day, I love eating my bodyweight in stolen bites and Guylian chocolates, I love the excitement, the cosiness, the festive scented candles, the pure joy of seeing little ones waiting for Santa – let’s face it, I LOVE SANTA!! I love new pjs on Christmas eve and I love spreading a bit of joy (because we all know the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear right?) I love spending time with family and friends. I love that people are more thankful, more giving, and just that little bit nicer. I love that for one whole month, I don’t need to try and stay in a good place mentally. For one whole month, my natural state is happy!
This year, Christmas may look and feel a little different for a lot of people. I know that it can be an extremely stressful and lonely time of year (and that’s before you throw a pandemic into the mix). Depending on where you are in the world (and the COVID restrictions) you may not be able to spend your Christmas in the way in which you normally would. I’m not going to pretend it will be easy. It’s been a tough year, BUT you can still salvage Christmas. If it’s not a holiday you celebrate, then celebrate December. December is a great month to reflect on the past year and think about the things that make you happy. It’s a great time to reach out to loved ones and do things that bring you joy. If that joy is avoiding the hustle and bustle in favour of watching non-Christmas related tv at home – then great, do it! If your joy is listening to ‘Now that’s what I call Christmas’ on repeat for a month whilst dressed as an elf, that is also great! (I think we have established which of the two I am).
My point here is you don’t need to love Christmas to benefit from it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to feel a certain way or make plans or buy a ridiculous amount of presents! Give yourself a gift this year. Give yourself the gift of looking after your mental health. It will be the best investment you make. That, I am sure of.
So, that’s all from me for now. If you’re interested in sharing in some of my festive cheer, or you’d just like to chat then head over to my Instagram @bemery92
Nadolig Llawen (that’s Merry Christmas in welsh)