What to do if you are struggling over Christmas

For many people in the UK, Christmas can be a stressful and unpleasant time. If you are around other people, talk to them about how you are feeling if you feel safe and comfortable to. Sharing our problems can often help us to realise that others are experiencing similar feelings, and can help us to see that there is always support out there.

If you find yourself struggling over the Christmas period, there are a number of places where you can get help. Some will have different operating times over Christmas, but will still have plenty of guidance on their website, and will be able to assist you over the majority of the festive period.

The Samaritans are available 24/7, including on Christmas Day. Whatever you’re going through, you can call them for free, from any phone, on 116 123.

You can also try to:

  • Watch your food and drink intake – Many of us see Christmas as a time to indulge. While this is fine for some, it may be useful for some people to keep an eye on how much unhealthy food and to drink they are having. Keep track of what you are drinking, and see if you could do with having even just a small amount less to drink.
  • Stay active  It is important to stay active, and especially so if you have time off from work. Consider doing some exercise to manage your mental health. ParkRun offer Christmas Day walks and runs in many places, and this can be a great way to keep active as well as socialise. Check out ParkRun to find one near you. Staying active can also help you to keep your sleep schedule in order over Christmas.

These organisations provide financial information and support:

These great organisations provide support around mental health:

  • Samaritans – www.samaritans.org/ – Helpline: 116 123
  • The Hub of Hope – https://hubofhope.co.uk/ – The Hub of Hope is a national mental health database which brings together organisations and charities, large and small, from across the country who offer mental health advice and support, together in one place. It finds places near to you (based on postcode) that can offer you help.
  • SANE – www.sane.org.uk/– Helpline: 0300 304 7000
  • Rethink Mental Illness – www.rethink.org/ – Advice and information service: 0300 5000 927
  • Mind – www.mind.org.uk/ – Infoline: 0300 123 3393
  • Time To Change – www.time-to-change.org.uk
  • Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
  • Shout – Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support, you can text ‘Shout’ to 85258. This will connect you with a trained volunteer.