Tag Archives: depression

How To Deal With Anxious Thoughts Around Christmas

For many people, Christmas is a time for happiness and being together, but for others, it can be so terrifying it can cause an increase in symptoms. The anxiety around money, the thought of having to go to family gatherings or parties, the pressure to be happy, the thought of being alone, having people tell you ‘pull yourself together, it’s Christmas!’ can be very unhelpful and make symptoms worse.

I used to hate Christmas and everything to do with it. I would avoid even thinking about Christmas but when it’s everywhere you look it can be hard to do that. The pressure of knowing I had to see people when all I wanted to do was hide, knowing I had to seem happy and put together was almost too much to bear at times. But unfortunately, Mental illness doesn’t take days off – no matter what time of year it is, and having the right tools to get you through is so important. Below are some of my top tips to make things more bearable.

Be honest about your feelings.

This one can be hard if you have people who don’t understand or who are not supportive of your struggles, but if you do have family who understands then be honest. If something feels too difficult or scary, let people know, they might surprise you and you might be able to come up with something that feels easier so you don’t miss out.

Have a plan.

If you have to attend Christmas gatherings or parties, have a plan. Decide what time you’re leaving so you have something to aim towards. For example – ‘I can get through this, there are only x amounts of hours left and it’ll be over’. If you’re responsible for hosting parties or cooking Christmas dinner, have a step by step list or plan so you know exactly what you have to do, so you’ll less likely to become overwhelmed.

Make time for yourself.

Self-care is important – especially if you find this time of year more difficult. It’s important to make time for yourself and your needs, away from anything that stresses you out. It can be something as simple having a bath, feeding yourself and drinking water – anything that doesn’t feel like a chore to do.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

There’s already enough pressure from society and other people, so there’s no good piling on more. It’s ok if you can’t do something, it’s ok if you have to leave early or not go somewhere at all, no good comes from putting too much pressure on yourself. It’s okay to say no if you can’t manage something. I know one of the hardest things for me is saying no, but it’s important to have healthy boundaries and realistic expectations for yourself.

Distraction, distraction, distraction.

With Christmas everywhere, it’s hard to escape. However, whilst you always have some degree of control, in the comfort of your own space, you are in the most control. If watching Christmas films or adverts makes your anxious thoughts worse, turn Netflix on and watch something not related to Christmas, listen to music, read books, anything not related to Christmas. It can help to have that space where you can pretend it isn’t Christmas and just relax.

Know where to turn for support.

Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare or try out different ways to cope, you can become overwhelmed. Below, I have listed various organizations you can contact if you need extra support:

UK support.

  • Samaritans (Call 116 123, open 24 hours, 365 days a year, Email, jo@samaritans.org, response time within 24 hours a day). For more information visit their website here.
  • Shout (Text Shout to 85258, open 24/7). For more information visit their website here.
  • SANEline (Call 0300 304 7000, 4.30pm to 10.30pm every day). For more information visit their website here.

International support.

Other posts you might find helpful.

Do you have any more tips on dealing with anxiety at Christmas?

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6 Helpful iPhone Apps For Managing Your Mental Health

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog. Today, I’m going to be sharing 6 apps that are great for managing your mental health. I have personally tried out all of the following apps and I have seen the potential they have in making it easier to manage your illness. I hope these apps are useful and you find something new to help you along…

(All app titles link to the App Store).

Think Ups.

Price – Free.

This is a lovely little app I discovered by accident. It contains 6 mini activities – happy taps, habit maker, mindset, positivity, breather and illuminator. All of them are based around positive thinking, good habits and mindfulness. My favourite game is positivity, which is a word search game. You are given words revolved around positivity and you have to find them in the grid.

Three Good Things.

Price – Free.

What I love about this app is how simple it is. Everyday you receive a notification to input 3 good things that happened to you that day. It’s a great way to try and pick out the positives of the day, even if it’s been a particularly tough day.


Price – Free.

This is one of most unique apps I’ve ever come across. Cove allows you to express how you’re feeling through music. You pick an emotion and it then allows you to add a base, melody and percussion to create a song. It’s great if you’re struggling to express how you’re feeling or you can’t find words to describe it. This app is also working with NHS (you can read more about this here).


Price – Free with a pro option.

Stigma is an app that allows you to track your mood and add journal entries. It also has a pen pal option – where you can connect with other people in similar situations to yourself. I haven’t tried out the pen pal aspect but I can imagine how helpful that could be to someone’s support system. One of my favourite aspects of the mood tracker is you can add a visual representation of how you’re feeling, which you can track over a certain period of time (daily, weekly, monthly).

Quit That.

Price – free.

I’ve added some examples to show you how it works

This is a very simple app that allows you to track habits you want to quit. It isn’t necessarily a mental health app, however, it’s great if there are bad habits, possibly related to your illness, you’d like to stop doing. It also allows you to input if the habit costs anything per day, and it will then show you how much you’ve saved since you’ve quit, which I think is a great motivator.


Price – free.

This is an app that uses hypnotherapy to help you deal with the struggles you may be facing. It includes several audios to listen to in the categories sleep, confidence and de-stress. It also allows you to add mantras (or choose the surprise me option) and the app will send you reminders throughout the day to remind you of them, which is think is a lovely touch.

What apps do you find helpful in managing your mental health?

10 Things You Need to Hear Right Now

In today’s post I’d like to tell you 10 of the things you need to hear right now. In this life – it’s easy to forget to look after yourself, and the stresses and worries of everyday can get to you to the point you feel so bad about yourself. Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of – and unless we start the conversations about it, unless we talk about our experiences then the stigma attached to mental illnesses will remain.

Sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement and to remind ourselves that we are important and loved. Whether you have a mental illness or not – we all need to be reminded of these things;

There is no one like you out there – and that’s an amazing thing. You are unique and it’s ok to be yourself. If you want to wear quirky clothes – go for it, if you want to wear bright make up- go for it, if you want to wear no make up – go for it. Never feel like you have to hide your true self – because you are amazing.

Someone, somewhere loves you. They love the bones of you, and love all the little things that you hate. They love you so much their heart is so full of joy it might burst-and all because you’re in their life.

You can do anything you put your mind to. You can be a writer or an actress or a doctor. Whatever you want to do – if you have the drive and determination – you can get there. Don’t let anyone, ever crush your dreams into pieces, and go for your dreams with your whole heart.

That includes you with the hair that hasn’t been washed in days and the pyjamas you haven’t gotten out of since last week. Whatever you look like, however you’re feeling – you are beautiful.

Making mistakes doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Everyone make mistakes, no matter who they are. Mistakes are how we learn and how we grow in ourselves – be proud of them and let them influence where you go from here.

You don’t have to be okay all the time. Sometimes society makes us feel that we have to be happy all the time and if you’re not happy you’re weak or attention seeking or a misery guts. In reality, whether you’ve got a mental illness or not – you can’t be alright everyday of your life. And that’s okay – you don’t have to hide how you feel, ever. We wouldn’t be human beings if we were happy all of the time.

When life has gotten so stressful and exhausting and you’re not even sure if you can carry on – you are not alone. Feeling alone in a room full of people- when you’re so sure that no one can understand what you’re going through – you are not alone. It’s easy for people to tell you it’s stupid to feel like you’re alone when you have people around you who care, but in reality, sometimes we need a reminder there are people out there who understand what we’re going through – because they themselves have been through it too.

I know it’s hard to believe people’s opinions don’t matter – but in reality no one has ever been in your shoes, and experienced the world or a situation the way you have. No one else has the right to judge you for how you respond to situations, how you cope and how you live your life.

Life isn’t a race and just because it might take you longer to do things doesn’t mean you’ll never get there. At 25 years old – I’m only just halfway through my university degree when many people my age have already completed their degrees and have a job. If you don’t want to go to university then that’s ok to. You take your life at your pace and do what makes you happy and fulfilled.

Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now – everything will be okay. Life is hard – and sometimes it can feel overwhelming and scary. But in the end things will work the way you need them to, life won’t always feel this hard.

What are some of the things you would like people to hear right now?