6 Reasons To Prioritize Your Mental Health In The Winter
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Health and Wellness

6 Reasons Your Mental Health Should Be An Even Higher Priority Around The Holidays

Something that should be looked after all year long.

6 Reasons Your Mental Health Should Be An Even Higher Priority Around The Holidays

Mental health is something many people shy away from acknowledging and even sharing their influence. Adding Christmas, a time of giving and spending time with loved ones while laughter should be filling the air to a mental health sufferer causes more Scrooges than "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree." Stigmas are not just around the holiday season, they attack year-round.

1. Loneliness 

Not everyone during the Holiday season is running on cheer and excitement for Christmas. According to mind, in a 2015 survey, 20 percent of people have felt lonely, as is expected since Christmas is a time to gather with loved ones. Aside from a light feeling during the jolly buildup to the glorious day, this time of year may also open up wounds of loss or negative feelings.

As Stephen Buckley head of information at Mind says: "At Christmas existing problems can seem even bigger-if you are lonely, it can highlight how lonely you are and make you feel that you should be socializing."

2. Social engagements 

Being socially engaged even for the most extroverted can feel overwhelmed at times, and the swamping Christmas shindigs can make the need to be around people feel worse. The Mind survey also found that 19 percent of people had pretended to be sick to get out of staff Christmas parties and 25 percent of adults in the UK feel anxious about social gatherings during the festive period.

3. Money troubles

It's no surprise that the thought of Christmas causes people to worry about extra expenses, more in fact since the jolly holiday grew into a commercialized time for getting gifts. A spokesperson for Anxiety UK says: "Financial difficulties may cause a great deal of anxiety at Christmas with presents to buy, outfits to pick out and all the festive "essentials" such as tree decorations and gift-wrapping that need to be considered.

Ultimately, a need to please others with materialistic "love" has driven many to hate the holiday, company and festiveness are solely determined by dollar signs.

4. Drinks for everyone! 

People are drinking more than Starbucks this time of year for many reasons: one of which is liquid courage in order to make it out of the house or to simply bring grander tidings. The amount one might drink on social occasions (more so around Christmas and New Years) can make mental health worse as well, as anxiety is intensified.

Anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge, from Calmer You, asserts that: "Despite its association with merriment, alcohol is actually a depressant, it lowers our sleep quality, and many people experience hangover anxiety (hangxiety) the day after a big night on the booze." Since alcohol slows down central nervous system (CNS) activity, or rather, hindering the proper flow of bodily functions, the individual is relaxed but waking from this point or witnessing such behavior might make one more anxious and foggy minded.

5. Social media 

Again, the Anxiety UK spokesperson added: "Those of us with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram may feel even more pressure to have a 'perfect holiday' as our feeds continually update us on the developments of other peoples' lives." Ultimately, living up to societies' expectations -- the gorgeous outings and merry occasions shared online lead to the creation of FOMO, or "fear of missing out." One scroll through a newsfeed can cause depression.

6. Winter weather 

It is true that bad weather isn't biased and solely affects Christmas, rather, it is something that comes with the territory. Winter is here and statistically speaking, as many as 1 in 3 people in the UK might already be struggling with some degree of seasonal affective disorder, according to a writer for HuffPost: Sophie Gallagher.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons, therefore, the nightfall starting sooner and nights growing colder can have an impact on how we live with approximately 10 million Americans suffer annually. Additionally, evenings get darker sooner and colder weather can have an impact on our daily lives, without embracing beautiful prism-filled sunlight in the frigid air may lead to feelings of sadness. Not to mention Vitamin-D deficiency.

So get out there and enjoy the holiday season and the cold months to come, there are many things to brighten your mood. All in all, remember to self-care and address "your" needs — the rest will flow.

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