I hope you had a good and restful Christmas and are looking forward to the new year. Today’s blog will be rounding up some of what we’ve spoken about on our 2020 Christmas episodes of Mental Monday.
We spoke about incoming tier 4 restrictions and how this Christmas wouldn’t be the same as those previously. And while the episode took a more depressive tone, I hope that it offered some comfort and shows its okay to talk about our mixed emotions.
With so many of us sharing in Christmas virtually, this was a time to reflect and air how we’re feeling. Negative emotions aren’t something to gloss over or fake substituting for positive ones. Instead, there something to accept and work through.
Thursday 24th (Christmas Eve)
The theme for this episode was acceptance. The main message I wanted to get across was that however, you get through Christmas (providing it’s safe) is fine. With it being so different, and plans torn up at the last minute, don’t put pressure on yourself to get through the day in a certain way, or do everything asked. Taking time for yourself, and sometimes saying no can be best for your mental health, which is right to prioritise.
My other message was about checking in with people. So many of us are going to be more isolated than usual this Christmas, so this is a perfect time to check-in and make sure everyone’s okay. Giving your mates a text and seeing how they’re feeling can be super helpful, a reminder that people care and are there for you.
Friday 25th (Christmas Day)
Today we talked about self-care, the benefits of doing nothing, and how sometimes you’ve just got to take a step back and be happy in the moment.
We spoke about how self-care isn’t a one size fits all and how self-care can be anything you enjoy big or small. Little things matter, and taking time for self-care even if it’s something as simple as taking a walk, or listening to music, can make a difference if it makes you happy.
I warned against getting too caught up in “self-care culture” something I struggled with looking at all sorts of mental health content telling me what I should do for self-care, and regimenting it into my routine when that wasn’t practical. If self-care time loses its enjoyment, why not try something else?
I mentioned again if you know someone who is struggling reach out to them to see if they could do with someone even just to talk to during these times. I also mentioned that sometimes we’re too busy helping everyone else, we lose sight of our own mental health, which you’re allowed to prioritise.
Saturday 26 (Boxing Day)
We reflected today on the year it’s been for us all, and how there will still be challenges to face going into 2021. We discussed coping strategies, and how to get where we are today, we have managed to cope with everything so far.
I thought it was a good end to Mental Monday, a chance to review how we’re feeling, check-in with ourselves and make sure we’re okay. It was a fitting end and a positive note to go out on, that there is hope coming, and we can start the new year, though our circumstances remain unchanged, with a fresh slate and hope for better times.
I’m so thankful to you for tuning into our Christmas Specials of Mental Monday and as always thanks for the privilege of being able to speak about mental health from a position of recovery.
They’ll be one more Mental Monday (28th) before the end of the year and then we’ll continue to hold them every two weeks. I always say Mental Monday is to help me more than you and it’s a time for me to express myself in an open, unscripted way and that helps massively with my mental health.
If you have any suggestions for future Mental Mondays then get in touch on my socials or leave a comment below. As always, I am around if you’d like someone to talk to, though I can’t offer any help so always talk to someone you trust, the Samaritans, or call 999 in emergencies.
I hope you still managed to find pockets of relaxation, even joy, throughout this time. Have a Happy New Year, and I’m sure we all look forward to a better 2021. Thanks again to everyone that got involved.