HOLIDAY TIME YOU ARE NOT ALONE BY MARI LAVELLE-HILL

The festive season can be a difficult time of year for everyone. Added expensive, extra planning adds pressure for us to really truly enjoy ourselves! On top of that, there is often the ever-complicated family dynamics to navigate and a tendency to over-indulge with food and alcohol. For many of us , these stresses are heightened by our mental health. It’s hard to feel the joyand cheer promised when we’re feeling depressed lonely and left out at the Christmas party if we don’t drink. We miss that sense of belonging if we don’t have family or friends to spend the holidays with to achieve that ‘perfect Christmas’ (which all the adverts on TV promise us)when even our day-to-day reality makes us feel overwhelmed.
In fact, National MIND reported that in 2016, “Over a quarter of people feel the pressure tohave the ‘perfect Christmas’ (28%), increasing to half of those with a mental health problem(48%).” Mind in Haringey would like everyone to know that it’s OK not to be OK at Christmas.There is support available to you. There are people you can talk to. There are places whereyou can spend the day. Look after yourself and be kind to yourself this Christmas.For help and support at Christmas, nationally and locally:
Call the Samaritans on 116 123 Join Elefriends, an online supportive community set up by MIND: elefriends.org.ukJoin Union Church in Crouch End for a free Christmas day lunch.To RSVP: call 0208 341 3918 or email christmas@unionccc.org.uk