Christmas and my Mental Health
Mental & Physical Health Issues

Christmas and my Mental Health

A lot of people find Christmas hard for many different reasons.

Of late I find I miss my Aunt and Granny so much over the festive seasons. I miss seeing their smiling faces, the delight at having the family together.

However for as long as I can remember I've found Christmas a very difficult time of year. Way back into my teens, I remember lying on my bed and crying, telling my parents I didn't want to celebrate Christmas.

I can't put my finger on why. There's no real reason which jumps out and shouts at me, yes this is why I find Christmas hard.

For a while, I thought it was because everywhere shuts down and it's not because I want to go out, but because I can't. Cabin fever per'say.

Then I thought perhaps it was because of all of the hype in the run-up to Christmas and then suddenly it's gone.

There's nothing left, no Christmas cheer, it has all finished for the next year.

However, nothing really seems to fit the bill.

Mental health symbol Puzzle and head brain concept as a human face profile made from crumpled white paper with a jigsaw piece cut out on a rustic old double page spread horizontal wood background.

So Why Post If You Don't Know?

I guess my reason for posting is when it comes to mental health not everyone has a reason why they feel the way they do.

Anxiety and panic can hit for no reason, it just suddenly hits and you just can't put your finger on the reason why.

However, the first question you will always be asked is why.

Why do you feel this way, what set it off, what can you do to make the situation ease?

But when you don't know, just people pressing you for answers can make it worse.

You start questioning yourself why don't I know, what's wrong with me that 1) I feel this way and 2) I don't know why.

So my reason for posting is simple.

You don't have to know why. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for mental health and that is OK.

Don't keep digging to try and find out why it will make things worse.

It is OK to find Christmas a hard time for no reason.

Your feelings are completely valid, no matter why you are struggling.

Don't feel you can't reach out for help because you don't understand why you are feeling bad, you can.

My inbox is always open if you need to chat as well.

Close up of human hand touching with finger human brain

Mental Health Helplines

If you need to chat with someone, helplines open across the festive period include:

The Samaritans
Phone: 116 123

Phone: 0300 123 3393
Text: 86463

Take care of yourself.





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This article has 44 comments

  1. Amy Simpson

    I suffered a Mental Breakdown last Xmas,and still recovering from it,hope this xmas is better for me,and you have a good one too x

  2. lesley renshaw

    I can relate this, Sarah. I suffer from anxiety and lately my depression has reared it’s ugly head again. As much as I love Christmas, I feel it puts a lots of pressure on people – financially and emotionally mainly. I lost my Dad 2 years ago and it’s just a reminder that he’s not here cos of all the lovely memories we shared this time of year. TBH, now I have my own family I probably wouldn’t have spent the day with him anyway as my extended family live up North and we moved down South. It’s not the I would have seen him anyway but the fact, that I can’t if I wanted to bothers me. I can’t really pinpoint it to one thing, it’s a cluster of little things I guess. But your right, the more you think about it the more it grows and you never get the answers just possible reasons but nothing concrete. Just gets my head in a spin! As most of us with mental health conditions will say, just take it as it comes – that’s all we can do… It’s so unpredictable x

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      It is hard isn’t it – it’s that feeling of what if they were here, what if I could just spend one more day with them. Christmas is such a weird time of year.

  3. Anonymous

    My mom was a Christmas child and I miss celebrating her birthday on Christmas Day. Doesn’t always have be a reason it is just how you feel

  4. Alli Smith

    The Christmas season can be so stressful. I normally love Christmas but since my mom passed away two years ago, it’s more difficult celebrating without her. I really feel for those with mental health issues and I applaud you for sharing those help numbers so that people suffering can reach out and talk to someone.

  5. Amber Myers

    I can see how the holidays can be tough for some people. I am glad there is a hotline to help when it’s needed.

  6. Mellissa Williams

    Thank you for sharing this, Sarah. It is okay not to know why you feel the way you feel but at least you are acknowledging it – as you said, it could be for a variety of reasons – I do agree that it is so much hype in the lead up and then poof, just like that its gone. x

  7. GiGi Eats

    You may be one of the only people I know who doesn’t want to celebrate during the holidays! It’s really interesting to hear this perspective as well. I personally LOVE the holidays (like a majority of the world) because I feel like everyone just get more excited and happy and nice!

  8. Jeanette

    For me the Christmas time can be stressful especially because our family is quite big. I do love Christmas though and so I try to go out it with a positive mental attitude. Sometimes it’s hard and I can see why people have a lot of stress.

  9. Tomi

    I do not subscribe to the whole You MUST Be Jolly This Time of Year. The holidays are a difficult time for so many. Mental health is such an important part of our well-being and we must take care of ourselves both mentally AND physically.

  10. Shaliece Felder

    The holiday season always stirs up my anxiety for a number of reasons. I just try to breath through it and focus on what I can control. It can be tough.

  11. Luz

    Very valuable information and honestly you are correct to not understand why you feel the way you do during the holidays. But, I also feel that you need to really analyze what’s going on so that it does not continue or get worse. Holidays are tough for many people for many different reasons. Reasons are important speaking from someone who does suffer from depression. 🙂 Great post overall.

  12. Emily

    I am so sorry you struggle during this time of year. I think it is great that you are aware of what triggers you and that you are working towards improving things. The fact that you are sharing this and talking about it will help you, but also others struggling as well. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Pam

    Christmas is hard for my mental health. I actually lost my dad in the days leading up to Christmas and every season I get sad.

  14. April A Decheine

    I can sure see the holidays being tough on folks, for many reasons, money, no family, no friends, and no support. Glad there is a place to call for help.

  15. Lisa Martin

    This time of year can be so hard. And it doesn’t have to have a reason to be. Great post.

  16. Melanie williams

    Aw I love this post Sarah and nice to say your inbox is always open too. I miss loved ones that are no longer here and also a friend that is still here – can be tough at times. Keep your chin up xx

  17. Terri Steffes

    Sometimes the “I don’t know” is the sign we need to check out our feelings with a professional. Sometimes it is a sign of mental exhaustion, which has a relatively easy fix. Hugs, this post is going to be very helpful to a lot of people.

  18. Laura Dove

    My mental health always takes a hit at christmas. I find it really hard missing my son but I also have to try really hard to make it special for our four children. It’s tough.

  19. Ronnie

    There’s such impossibly high standards for Christmas lately, like we’re all supposed to be so overly joyful and appreciative. But it actually makes me anxious. 🙁 Thanks for putting a light on mental health.

  20. Our Seaside Baby

    I understand why the holidays can be difficult for some. In the past I’ve found them difficult too. It’s so important to get support where you can.

  21. ricci

    The holidays are hard for so many people!! Christmas was my Mom’s absolute favorite holiday and ever since she passed I just can’t seem to get in the spirit.

  22. Amy h

    Last year was a rough Christmas for me, and I know this year is not going to be any easier. This will be the 1st Christmas with out my grandmother around.

  23. Jenni

    I know one of my friends really struggles at this time of year without his mum but his child seems to help him get through it. I wish I was more help

  24. Elizabeth Neas

    I do not think you have to “know” necessarily the why all you do know is that you are feeling this way and have identified it. When we lose a loved one the holidays can be hard to handle.

  25. Swathi

    Yes holidays are tough on us, not only financially, mentally also. Thinking lot of things at times. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  26. Melissa

    Holidays can be such a difficult time for so many. It can be a time of heartache, despair and depression. Thanks for opening up and sharing.

  27. Kara

    Christmas was tough for me growing up, so I try and make the best of it now I have kids of my own. We have a relaxing day and don’t put any pressure on to make it extra speciail

  28. Tanya

    This is a really great post, I think it’s so important to remember that sometimes you can be depressed or anxious but there’s no reason behind it. It would be great to know as that would mean you could potentially do something to change the situation but people need to remember that if you say you don’t know that that’s normal and that’s okay

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      Most definitely I used to hate people asking me why because I didn’t know and that made it worse. These days most people who know me ask if I know why and then leave if it if I say no.

  29. maria ROGERS

    Christmas can be tough as there is a preconceived idea that everyone else is mega happy, but the reality is not the case. My daughter died recently and the first Christmas was sheer hell, xmas songs blasting out in shops, all on tv, mega happy people going on about family and kids. I spent most of the day locked in the loo crying not wanting to ruin everyone elses day. Anyway focusing on the future and the positives – I have found by doing a ‘mindfulness’ course to be the best way to deal with my sadness, depression, and even my personal health issues, I am in constant pain with Fibromyalgia. Mindfulness gives you coping tools to deal with it all. So if you are looking for a more holistic answer I can recommend mindfulness as a solution. There are books, apps for your phone, and courses.

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      I cannot at all imagine what it is like to not have your daughter around at Christmas I am so sorry.

      I will definitely have a look at some apps I’m all for a holistic approach, yes meds help to a degree but I long ago leant for the most part I need to use my own willpower.

  30. Jeanette farm Leighton

    I enjoy Christmas because it’s all about my children, last year we spent Christmas in hospital with my boy Charlie 2 who was very poorly so hopefully this year he will be healthy

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