Christmas is fast approaching and your money has to be stretched further and further to make yourself and others happy.

However what about debt?

I am not talking about the pounds and pence but emotional debt.  This year lets all be kind to ourselves emotionally.  I have created ‘The 12 debts of Christmas’, these are thoughts, feelings and actions that if you are self aware of them they could have less of an impact on your mental health.

The first debt is…

  1. Saying ‘Yes’

It is easy to say yes to all social occasions however it can be draining on the mind. This can be a debt on you; it is okay to sometimes say ‘no’

  1. Believing the adverts

The adverts start in November and give us an impression of an ‘idealistic’ home life and how Christmas should be.  Either don’t watch them or turn the sound off. You don’t have to live up to expectations.

  1. Over drinking

I recently was in a supermarket and a large magnum of Prosecco was on sale for only £10! That’s 1.5 litres of booze. Before you rush out and buy a case how much alcohol do you need in your home?  Excessive buying can lead to excessive drinking. If you have an impulsive personality like me, enjoy a drink but on the side of caution.

  1. Over Eating

Why do Christmas platters come in packs of 50! Why is everything beige or non-colours?

Overeating can have a negative impact on your self esteem and energy levels. Mindful eating can be a way of combating this, think before you scoff!

  1. Spending time as an obligation

Family and friends are important however do not make it an ‘obligation’ to spend time with people who do not make you happy.  You do have a choice, surrounding yourself with positive people can rub off on your own mental health.

  1. Stop moving

Keeping active is very important, when the imprint of your body can be seen on your sofa you know it’s time to go outside.

  1. Over Inviting

Buying your own body weight in food just because you’ve invited someone or a group of people every day over the Christmas period can leave your pockets empty, as well as your mind.

Burning out because you have to be ‘on’ and over socialise can be draining for your mental health.

  1. Over stimulating

Lights, music, bright colours, smells, people rushing around, Christmas trimmings, Christmas adverts, Christmas TV…phew! A lot to take in, this can be all tiring for the brain. Choose what you like, if its simple fairy lights stick with it, keep it simple.

  1. Cancelling important appointments

Life doesn’t stop just because December has arrived.  It’s easy to say I can’t make that Doctors appointment, mental health group or blood test.  Make sure you look after ‘you’ at this time of year.

  1. Not taking time out

Breathe…

Take time out from family and friends, maybe listen to a podcast check out Headspace this is a great subscription podcast which offers free trials give it a go.

  1. Disengaging

You can say ‘no’ but don’t say this to every opportunity. Isolating yourself from people could be detrimental to yourself and your own well-being

And Finally…

  1. Not being you

If you don’t like pubs and bars don’t go to pubs and bars.

If you hate dancing don’t go on a night out that involves a dance floor.

Putting a face on because its Christmas can make you feel fake, unhappy and uncomfortable.

Have a happy festive period

Look after your mental health and be truthful to yourself

‘Be You’

written by Laura Nellist – SSNMH Volunteer