Simple ways you can look after your mental health this Christmas

Christmas can be a particularly draining time in terms of mental health, so we've put together a small guide to help you through the holiday.

Tips to look after your mental health this Christmas - a young man drinking from a cup while checking his phone. A Christmas tree is in the background

For a lot of people, Christmas can be a very challenging time, especially when it comes to mental health. The days get shorter, the nights get longer, money starts to dwindle and many find themselves surrounded by less than supportive family members. With that in mind, we have put together a number of tips and resources that may help you through the holiday period.

Try not to stress over Christmas shopping

Getting your Christmas shopping can be one of the most stressful parts of the period. Try to remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get something, there are plenty of cheap great gifts you can get for your loved ones. Also, make shopping as pleasant as possible by listening to a podcast or a relaxing playlist. Make sure you also take time to yourself and maybe treat yourself.

Get Plenty of Sleep

With endless Christmas parties, early starts and late night pints, many find their sleep patterns severely disrupted. Set aside plenty of time to get enough rest over the period and try and switch off from screens before bedtime.

Eat Well

As tempting as it may be to eat Chocolate Santas for breakfast, an excess of sugar will lead to a crash as well as feelings of lethargy. Indulge in the best of the Christmas season, but be sure to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as a diet rich in fibre to ensure physical wellness throughout the holiday.

Get Moving

As cliché as it sounds, stretching your legs and getting some fresh air can make you feel better, even momentarily. Even going for a brisk walk around the block can help you clear your head and your lungs as well as improving your mood. Anything counts and it definitely helps when it comes to mental health, even during the Christmas holidays.

Be realistic about family expectations

Family conflict at Christmas is very common. If things are starting to bother you or get too intense, take some time out. Find some time and space for yourself to go for a walk, listen to music, or enjoy some of the books you got for Christmas.

Reach Out

Ultimately, the number one thing you can do for your mental health is to talk to someone. Whether it’s family, friends or a professional, sharing your problem won’t make it go away, but it will make it seem less daunting. Below are a number of resources that are there to help.


The Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk at any time, in your own way. They can be reached at 116 123, or you can email [email protected]


Bodywhys offer support and resources to those suffering from disordered eating. Call their hotline at 1890 200 444.

Your Mental Health

Your mental health is a place to learn about mental health and how to support yourself and others. Visit

Transgender Equality Network Ireland

TENI seeks to improve conditions and advance the rights and equality of trans people and their families. Their vision is an Ireland where trans people are understood, accepted and respected, and can participate fully in all aspects of Irish society. Visit their website –  – or call them at 01 873 35 75.

Lesbian Line

Lesbian Line is a listening service run by female identifying staff and volunteers. They are there to listen and can give you the information you need on the many support services available. Visit their website –  – or call them on 01 8729911.

Gay Switchboard Ireland

GSI provides a confidential telephone support service. Listening, support and information are provided to all callers in a non- directive or judgmental way. The service is available to the LGBT+ community, their parents, families and friends, and to anyone who has concerns relating to sexuality, including HIV/AIDS-related enquiries. Visit their website – – or call 01 872 1055

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

The Rape Crisis Centre offers free, confidential, listening and support services for people who have been raped, sexually assaulted, sexually harassed or sexually abused at any time in their lives. Their national 24-hour helpline can be reached at 1800 77 8888.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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