Looking after ourselves at Christmas

As we approach the Festive Season we wanted to acknowledge that this can be a really difficult time of year for many LGBTQ people – you may be feeling lonely and isolated from family and friends or have to endure uncomfortable family gatherings that don’t make us feel great. Here are MindOut’s top tips for surviving the festive season.

person's hands together holding white fairy lights in a dark room

1. Reach out

Remember your friends aren’t mind-readers, if you’re feeling lonely or down or have had a bad experience with family then it might be worth having someone on standby that you feel safe to talk to.  People can get caught up in busy lives and commitments especially around the festive season, so don’t be afraid to ask if you need something. Also you can choose who you want to spend time with.

2. Pace yourself, set boundaries and say no if you need to look after yourself

There is a lot of pressure to socialise and drink and be busy during this period. If you need to be alone, or quiet and calm or say no to another invite then just say so and keep yourself safe. Getting enough sleep and time to yourself cannot be overstated.

3. Get moving and change the energy

If you are feeling particularly low or lonely it might feel much more appealing to just hide under a duvet with Netflix for comfort. But too much of this can make you feel worse and sluggish. Getting out and moving is a really good way of lifting your mood and clearing the mind. Just a brisk walk during the day can be enough to refresh the senses and help shift perspective. Be kind to yourself and your body. Having a good clean up and opening the curtains can help defeat winter blues.

4. Get absorbed in a good game/book/album/podcast or film

Art and media can be a perfect distraction from uncomfortable feelings sometimes, and it’s ok to switch off if things get too much. It can also be a great way of just pleasing yourself and choosing the things that you are particularly interested in. Music and stories especially can be inspiring during difficult times.

5. Talk to someone

It’s not easy to reach out when you are feeling lonely or low but keeping your feelings bottled up can lead to anxiety, depression and isolation. Just telling someone who understands how you are feeling can give you huge relief and another perspective can help calm suicidal thoughts and feelings.

MindOut’s online support service is open most day during the festive season. Please check our website for opening times www.mindout.org.uk.

Whether you have an issue you’d like to talk through or if you would just like to make contact and chat. We are here for you.