As the year draws to an end, it is not uncommon for businesses, including recruitment agencies to share highlights from the past 12 months. Or share their plans for the future.
However, here at Mindful Partners, we are a recruitment agency with a difference. We help people who have recovered from mental ill-health get back into the workplace.
So, as Christmas and the New Year approaches, we thought we would take this as an opportunity to shine the light on mental health at Christmas.
How Can Christmas Impact Your Mental Health?
There are various elements of the festive period that can impact your mental health. The pressures of creating a “perfect” Christmas paired with the never-ending to-do list can get to everyone.
Some people find that mixing with their extended family, friends and in-laws brings an added pressure. Others find that juggling so much at once causes stress.
Many people struggle with the financial burden that comes with Christmas, especially those who are unemployed. And for those who spend Christmas alone, there are strong feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Although Christmas is a time for celebration, it is not surprising that it can be damaging to your mental health.
Mental Health At Christmas Statistics
If you find that your mental health takes a beating at Christmas, it can be comforting to know you’re not alone. A YouGov survey carried out in 2019, found that Christmas affects the mental health of a quarter of British people.
19% of all people surveyed stated that Christmas has a “fairly negative impact” on their mental health. And an additional 7% surveyed stated that Christmas has a “very negative impact” on their mental health. The survey also found that around 2 in 5 Brits have experienced depression over the festive period.
Experiencing poor mental health over the Christmas period is particularly common for those who are unemployed, divorced and widowed.
Furthermore, a study carried out by Mind in 2015 found that people who already struggle with their mental health find Christmas especially challenging. Almost 60% of people surveyed have experienced panic attacks brought on by Christmas, and 76% struggle to sleep.
Devastatingly, it was also found that 36% of people with mental health conditions have turned to self-harm to cope with the pressures of Christmas.
Tips To Look After Your Mental Health At Christmas
It is important to know you are not alone this Christmas. There are various organisations, charities and helplines offering support for those who require it.
In addition, there are some small things you can do to make the festive period a little easier. Here are our tips for looking after your mental health this Christmas. You can find more here.
Make Time For Yourself
Christmas is hectic. If you live with your family or partner, aim to make time for yourself over the festive period. Whether it is watching your favourite movie, reading a good book or having a long (undisturbed!) bath, make sure you have some you-time.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits
From champagne breakfasts to after-dinner tipples, t’s not uncommon to drink more alcohol over the festive period. However, alcohol can have a negative effect on your mood. To avoid feeling low this Christmas, drink alcohol in moderation and be mindful of how much you are consuming as the days tick by.
Aside from drinking more than usual, Christmas is also a time when healthy eating appears to go out the window. However, eating unhealthy foods, such as sugary snacks, processed carbs and fried foods can reduce your energy levels.
Get outside and enjoy a walk in the wintery sunshine. Exercising outdoors will lift your mood and boost your energy levels.
Don’t Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself
Christmas and pressure go hand in hand. And it can be so easy to put pressure on ourselves to try and make everything “perfect”. But that added pressure can really take its toll on your health.
Try not to take on too much at once. It is not selfish to say “no”. Creating boundaries is healthy and will help take the pressure off this Christmas.
Ask your family to step in and help where possible. Even if it something as small as bringing dessert for the Christmas dinner or posting the Christmas cards, it is one less thing on your to-do list.
Take A Break From Social Media
There is no doubt that social media can be damaging to our mental health. If you think social media is contributing to your poor mental health, perhaps take a step away from it over the festive period.
If you find yourself in a crisis or struggling with your mental health this Christmas, don’t hesitate to reach out for immediate help. There are various charities always on the other end of the phone ready to help you. These include:
Telephone: 116 123 (24 hours a day, free to call)
Email: [email protected]
Shout is a 24/7 text service. It is free to text, regardless of which mobile network you are one.
Telephone: 0300 123 3393 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or text 86463
Email: [email protected]
The Mix is a free helpline and text service especially for people aged 13-25.
Telephone: 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm)
Crisis Support: Text ‘THEMIX’ to 85258.
Saneline is a national out of hours support helpline.
Telephone: 0300 304 7000
Get In Touch
Mindful Partners is a recruitment agency with a soul. If you have been out of work with mental ill-health and are ready to get back into a career you love, get in touch. We will provide intensive ongoing support to help you ease into your new job.
Alternatively, if you are an employer and would like to find out more about partnering with Mindful Partners to recruit staff and create a mentally healthy workplace, please get in touch.