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The 12 days of Christmas for mental well-being

It’s tempting to take on all the responsibility for Christmas and then feel resentful and overwhelmed. Instead, I’m going to ask for help and share the tasks with friends and family.

On the first day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Asking for support

On the second day of Christmas I give a gift to me: No diets

This year, I’m not depriving myself of delicious foods in the lead-up to Christmas, as it makes me feel miserable and I often end up over-eating eating later on. I plan to eat mindfully and choose the foods that I genuinely love. I will then savour every scrumptious mouthful without guilt.

On the third day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Relationships first

I’m not going to spend money that I don’t have, as this creates huge anxiety and fear. Creating memories and spending time with family and friends is infinitely more important.

On the fourth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Letting go

Perfection does not exist and it’s a huge pressure to put this on myself. I’m working to embrace the chaos and imperfection and to go with the flow.

On the fifth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Time to breathe

I’ll have a breather when everything becomes hectic and overwhelming. I might have some quiet time or go outside for fresh air. I’ll remember that it’s OK to take care of myself too.

On the sixth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Body respect

My body is worthy of respect and I appreciate everything that it does for me. I can choose an outfit that I love, smile, and stand tall on Christmas Day, letting go of numbers and weight goals.

Christmas tree

On the seventh day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Connecting

If I feel lonely, I’ll reach out to others and know that this is helpful, even when I don’t feel like it. I’ll offer myself compassion and kindness, both with my words and actions.

On the eighth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Please no more

I’m giving up on the idea of trying to please everyone this Christmas. It is an impossible and totally ridiculous task.

On the ninth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Humour

I’m working to see the humorous side of things and remembering that the ability to laugh at a situation can be a delightful easer of tension.

On the tenth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Magical moments

I’m going to pause to embrace the fun and wonder of Christmas through child-like eyes.

On the eleventh day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Self-care with alcohol

I’m thinking about how much alcohol I drink and the impact it has on my mood and well-being. I can choose how much I drink and not feel pressured by those around me.

On the twelfth day of Christmas I give a gift to me: Self-forgiveness

I am regularly forgetting these noble intentions and returning to old ways of coping. However, I’m taking steps to become kinder and more forgiving of myself, as I’m a work-in-progress, as is everybody else. 

I’m remembering to keep perspective and to acknowledge that Christmas Day is only one day of the year! This too shall pass.

This article was written by Harriet Frew.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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