Tinsel, Turkey, the John Lewis Advert, and Anxiety


The John Lewis advert aired mid-November and the high street stores were suddenly full of Christmas displays and the sounds of Christmas music. The countdown clock to Christmas is beginning to tick. For some this is exciting, for others it is the opposite.

Christmas, like lots of other events in the year, holds a different meaning to each of us.  It has religious meaning for some, for others it is a time of family gathering. joy, sharing gifts, and celebrations.  It can be an enjoyable time and the buzz and business of the season is welcome.

Some people dread this holiday season. It can be a stressful time with an immense pressure to make the time perfect: be the perfect host, be the perfect guest, buy the right gifts, visit everyone, invite the right people, accept the right invitations, provide the perfect meal. The list goes on. It can be an anxious time.

Times like Christmas can serve as a reminder of loneliness and isolation, of deprivation and exclusion, of emptiness and loss.

It is important to find ways of making times like Christmas less overwhelming.



  • It is impossible to please everyone or do everything. Prioritise. Give yourself permission to say ‘no’ sometimes and cancel plans if it feels overwhelming. Be compassionate with yourself.
  • If other’s choices feel upsetting to you, remember that they may be overwhelmed or struggling too.  Be compassionate with others.
  • Take some time out for yourself – you deserve it.
  • Don’t believe the hype. Do not compare your experience with others – we usually only hear the best bits! You are doing your best.
  • If you are grieving a loved one, missing friends or family, having a difficult time in your relationships, try and give yourself some time to be with your feelings.
  • Find your way to relax – take a walk, listen to music, engage with nature, exercise



If you are feeling overwhelmed, alone, worried, or lonely, talk to someone. A friend, colleague, or family member. There will be someone to listen to you.

Alternatively, there are others ready to listen. You can find a range of organisations who are there for you via this link: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/christmas-and-mental-health/useful-contacts/© Mind. This information is published in full at mind.org.uk

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