Anyone who experiences a mental health condition will know only too well how much the festive season exacerbates it.
The heightened sense of occasion causes anxiety, there’s a huge expectation to socialise more and many of those activities revolve around food which is challenging for those with eating disorders.
People can experience loneliness or find themselves forced to spend time with people who don’t understand them, leading them to feel alone. This can lead to depression and low mood.
It really isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for many.
I was gearing up to write a blog on how to cope with Christmas this month but had a sudden change of heart. It felt like a duplication of efforts.
About a month ago, the CEO of First Steps ED, a mental health and eating disorder charity in the Midlands, approached me to create a how-to guide for coping with the festivities. He asked me to generate relevant content and distribute to schools, colleges, universities and NHS organisations across the East Midlands, with the aim of helping young people and adults with the many challenges of Christmas. I was delighted to be trusted with such a worthwhile campaign that stood to benefit so many and make a difference.
I had plenty of ideas of what to include. There would have to be a section about food and eating, something surrounding relationships, feeling alone and managing financial and social pressures. I also wanted a section on resisting urges to conform to New Year’s Resolutions as well as distraction techniques and skills for carers.
It was quite a demanding task but I got there with the kind help of a few contributors and the results looks great!
I think the final version meets the objective wonderfully and will benefit thousands of readers across the region. It also ticks every box that I would have covered in my blog.
So, with that in mind – please take a look at the finished e-booklet here and as always, let me know what you think in the comments below. I really hope it helps you.