• Deborah Petrou

Celebrating a Covid-19 Christmas.

We are in a position we couldn't possibly have foreseen a year ago. Most of us will not be having the Christmas we planned or hoped for. Feelings such as grief and loss are rife as many of us have to navigate this strangest of times. There's no easy way to get through it. Here are some suggestions that might help.

Connect with others:

Combat feelings of isolation by staying connected. It might be a Zoom Christmas dinner or just regular phone calls/check-ins with friends and family. You can provide support to others while staying connected yourself. Take a few minutes each day to check-in. Phone, text, What'sApp etc can help to stay in touch.

Do something physical every day:

If you can, get outside for a daily walk. Getting outside, whatever the weather is a real stress buster. If that isn't possible, walk around the garden or your home. Do some gentle stretches, something easy and low impact. A simple 5 or 10 minute workout can really help to lift your mood. There are loads available for free online.

Do something different:

Learning a new skill can help to improve your sense of wellbeing. Check out Youtube for free tutorials. Read a new book. Sign up for an online course. Follow a new recipe. Do a puzzle - real or virtual - to get your brain ticking over.

Practice Kindness:

There are many local opportunities to volunteer, even if you are not able to leave the house. Doing something nice for someone can help to boost your mental wellbeing. Reach out to friends and family who are vulnerable or alone. Call or write to express thanks.

Live in the moment:

Be aware of how you feel. Breathe. Do some yoga or mindfulness exercises. There are tons of free tutorials online.

For your good Mental Health - here are details of some organisations offering support over the holiday period.

Mind - a wealth of information and resources to help with mental health.

Grief Encounter - offers bereavement support and the telephone helpline, GriefTalk.

The Samaritans - 24 hour helpline.

CALM - 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year helpline.

YoungMinds - Text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7 support across the UK.

Shout - 24/7 Anonymous Text Support.

Anxiety UK - Free anxiety resources and helpline available Monday-Friday.

Childline - Free phone helpline and counsellor chats available from 07.30am - 03.30am

In crisis? If your life is at risk right now If you feel like you might attempt suicide, or may have seriously harmed yourself, you need urgent medical help. Please:

  • call 999 for an ambulance

  • go straight to A&E, if you can

  • or call your local crisis team, if you have their number.

If you can't do this by yourself, ask someone to help you. Mental health emergencies are serious. You're not wasting anyone's time.

Let's hope that 2021 will bring hope and happier times for us all.

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