After the festive period and celebrations it is common for everyone – mental health sufferer or not – to experience a low mood due to the happiness and excitement that goes with Christmas and New Year being over and normality restored. For some this isn’t the case and the festive period can be pretty miserable all around, so getting it out of the way will be a relief.
The festive period can be a time where loss and pain can be highlighted, making any kind of grief come flooding back. Christmas and New Year is known for bringing families and friends together for 2 weeks to eat, drink and party but for someone who has a mental health illness or has experienced loss, witnessing seemingly all happy families and friends all in one place, can make you feel the odd one out. It becomes blatantly obvious how much you’ve lost.
Personally over the festive period I have managed to keep it together, not finding myself overly low or down. Of course, just like anyone, some days are better than others but I wasn’t drowning in grief like I and other people around me were expecting me to do. Even though this surprised me, I decided not to dwell on it and keep busy as why would I force myself to feel low just because I had every right to be?
Looking back I still can’t decide whether powering through was the right thing to do as I merely just carried on not wanting to be down. I know if I had truly allowed myself the opportunity to relay all the emotions and loss I have experienced in the last two years, I would’ve definitely struggled to get through it all. I thought I was listening to my mind by carrying on when in reality I was bottling up my emotions which all came fizzing out on New Years Eve.
6 days later and I’m now in a content medium, neither overly happy or low and for now that is all I need. This festive period has allowed me to realise I need to allow myself to feel the pain and anxieties inside of me every now and again to avoid it building up until I explode every emotion. We all know how much damage an exploding volcano can do.
To remind myself as well as you, I have composed a list of things that can help take care of yourself and for those days you need to focus on your self-love.
- Spice up your daily routines. Take extra time and care in normal day-to-day activities in order to make them feel more of a treat. An example of this could be switching your shower for a bath using a bath bomb or soak.
- Find a creative outlet whether its drawing, writing, cooking or blogging, putting your energy into something creative can have massively positive outcomes. If you make a cake or finish a drawing recognise the skill and achievements.
- Turn off your phone. We’ve all read the articles on how continuously scrolling through social media can have an effect on your confidence and mood. Shutting off from instagram or facebook for the day can be refreshing. Talking to friends may also help so tell them to text so you can turn your wifi off and not be tempted to scroll.
- Talk to someone you trust. Even if its just to acknowledge you are having a down day, telling this to someone and explaining it may help you to understand what you are feeling. Hopefully you all have supportive friends who will remind you how great you are.
- Try to think positively. This may be the hardest one of them all but remind yourself this feeling won’t last forever. Look in the mirror and tell yourself ‘its perfectly fine to have a down day, I take some time to relax and look after myself and try again tomorrow’. Having a day like this is completely fine, don’t beat yourself up for it.
Thank you for reading, we’ll all get through January together. Here are some links for further information and reading on mental health if you are seeking support or advice.