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Looking out for each other this Christmas

man and woman at christmas market
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Whether Christmas is something you celebrate or not, it can sometimes be a hard time of year for some. This can be for many different reasons such as feelings of loneliness, mental health issues or financial worries. As part of our ‘Keeping Minds in Mind’ campaign we’ve looked at some of the ways in which we can look out for each other over the festive period.

Be understanding

Christmas can mean different things to different people and may not bring up happy feelings. If a loved one is struggling at this time of year, the mental health charity, Mind advises that you could help them by letting them know that you understand that Christmas is difficult for them and that they’re not alone.

Be ready to listen

Mind also says that you should listen to what they need to say, and ask which parts or thing around Christmas that they may struggle with the most and what might help, for example you could help them avoid certain situations or difficult conversations.

Plan ahead

After understanding what is difficult around Christmas, you could help them to plan ahead, for example if they’re going to be somewhere unfamiliar you could help them by bringing things that will make them more comfortable or by being mindful of locations or places that could bring up any difficult memories.

Reach out to others

Some people may find the festive season lonely; they may have lost someone close to them, be in hospital, be a carer or living in a care home. Whatever the reason you could reach out to them in-person or digitally. This could be a walk, a coffee or a video call - whatever you both feel comfortable with.

Don't take it personally

Some people might not feel they can join in with festivities and Christmas plans, and although you may feel disappointed, Mind says it’s important not to take it personally. Someone prioritising their mental health does not mean they don’t care about you.

Learn about mental health

After listening, understanding and talking to your loved ones, why not become more informed about their mental health and the ways you can help them. There are plenty of resources online for different types of problems with different resources and guides. The Mind website is a good place to start, as well as the LloydsPharmacy ‘Keeping Minds in Mind’ blog

References

www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/being-supportive-to-others/
www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/christmas-coping-tips/