A Priceless Gift: Good Mental Health at Christmas.

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Christmas is a time to share with family and loved ones, a time where we want to cook, give gifts, travel, and reflect on everything that the year brought us. However, did you know that for many people there are situations and issues that cause problems for their emotional well-being?

It is surprising that in a season that represents happiness, for many people it represents sadness and even worsens their mental health. As evidenced by a survey conducted by YouGov[1]  in 2019 in the UK, respondents were asked if Christmas had a positive or negative impact compared to the other seasons of the year. 11% considered that it is very positive, 31% did not consider that this season made a difference in their mental health, and 19% responded that it caused them a really negative effect.

In addition, depression in unemployed people during this time was 38%, in divorced ones 35%, and 31% in widows. On the other hand, anxiety reached 40% in people between 25 and 34 years old, 47% of people unemployed experienced stress, depression by 42% of respondents, and anxiety sufferers of all age groups were 39%.

According to Private Healthcare[2], there are “5 things you should know about Christmas and mental health”: 54% of people worry at Christmas about the mental health of someone they know; 26% say that Christmas worsens their mental health; 83% feel lonely; 81% find Christmas stressful; and 47% go into debt.

To manage anxiety on Holidays, Dr Oluwagbenga Odeyemi, Consultant Psychiatrist at Priority Hospital Woodbourne gives a simple advice: let go of all the responsibilities that are not in our hands. Regarding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Dr. Natasha Bijlani, Consultant Psychiatrist at Priority Hospital Roehampton, suggests that it is convenient for us to simply go for a walk, even once a day, to alleviate this condition little by little, because keeping the mind occupied is key to relieving anxiety.

Now, if you feel stressed, Dr. Paul McLaren, consultant psychiatrist at Hayes Grove Hospital in Priory invites us to ask ourselves if it is a problem that has no solution, and if we cannot find one, seek help from a professional. Moreover, if you feel lonely, Dr. Natasha Bijlani recommends recalling memories that fill us with happiness such as looking at photographs or occupying our minds to focus on activities that have a purpose.




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