A girl with too many thoughts...

Monday, 26 December 2016

Alone Time & Struggling Around The Festive Period

There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing to spend some time alone. Everybody appreciates their own personal space, especially when we aren't quite feeling ourselves. I feel I need to emphasise this around Christmas time because there is such a huge pressure to be sociable - more so than any other time of the year.

Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for some people, especially those who struggle with mental illness. The pressure to be sociable, jolly and full of festive spirit, coupled with the expectation to have the 'perfect' Christmas (as seen in the media) can be overwhelming. I mean, most people find this time of year stressful, so imagine what it's like for those who are more vulnerable to such a feeling.

Mental illness does not magically cease to exist at Christmas (although I wish it did, could you imagine?!), and nor should anybody expect it to. Those who suffer from a mental illness may feel as though they need some alone time just like they would on any other day and that is okay. Nobody should be forced to put on a happy, smiley face just because it's Christmas, not if they feel like they're struggling.

You may feel you are being 'rude' or 'unsociable' if you don't give all of your attention to others around this time of year, but I want you to know that you shouldn't. You shouldn't feel guilty for taking time out for yourself over the festive period. I know it feels as though you should be spending all of your time with family but you need to focus on yourself too. Do what you feel comfortable with and if you feel like things are becoming too much, take some time out. Those who really care about you will understand.

This quote was tweeted by The Blurt Foundation yesterday and I think it sums up what I'm trying to say quite nicely:

"It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It's necessary" - Mandy Hale 

(even at Christmas)

I've probably spent a bit more time alone and cooped up in my room than I should have over this weekend. It's the only few days of the year where all of my family are together (as my brother lives away and I've started uni now). However, I've just not been feeling all that sociable and if I'm honest, I've been going through a bit of a down patch this last week so I haven't been feeling all that festive. I'm sure I'll perk up again soon, but I can't force a smile just because it's Christmas.

Anyway, enough about me! I hope you've had a joyful Christmas, mental illness or no mental illness. You deserve it.

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