Party of one

The periods when we are timeless are often the periods when our mental health can suffer. I am not talking about mindfulness or sitting staring at the ocean/trees/your dog. I am talking about times when our routines slide. The very routines that our mental health lives and breathes by,

Without a routine, our mental health is anchorless. This is never going to turn out ok for us.

Let’s take Christmas – my own personal nemesis. Every Christmas, my mental health takes a downward spiral into lying in my room and praying for it to be over. This phase usually lasts from 17th December when the continuous music has frayed my senses until December 26th. Oh Holy Day! Whilst everyone has dug in for a week of meat eating and drinking alcohol, sober old vegetarian me can go out and be the only one at the gym.

It wasn’t all ways like this. I spent at least 30 years drinking and eating meat and singing along to that music. But life after trauma involves unsettling Christmases after divorces, repossessions, bereavements and the ripples that fan out from these into your family. Like sewage.

Now, the fragile mental health I develop from 17th December is an echo of those traumas. They don’t just go away, In a season that positively wallows in memories, they are like very loud guests at the party from Hell.

Hangin’ out

What to do? Here a few tips –

  1. Limit socialising. Be ok with saying no.
  2. Keep everything low key – your budget, your calender and your lighting
  3. Take daytime naps. Do not feel guilty about this
  4. If you are sober, it is more difficult. Make a deal with friends not to buy you alcohol as a ‘joke.’ Plan ahead if you intend to go to drinks filled parties. Be prepared to leave early.
  5. Be quite ruthless with the company you keep. Do you value being polite over your mental health? Me neither. Real friends will understand.
  6. Throw away any Christmas cards you receive from people that remind you of difficult times in your past. Burn them if they were really toxic.
  7. This is not a great time to get back in contact with your ex
  8. Avoid tv
  9. Take a break from social media
  10. Learn to check in on – your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual state. Adjust your day accordingly.

When timeless becomes routine less, then you must make the routines. Create new ones to get you through. Make sure they involve getting out in the fresh air rather than the shops. Make time to rest and be very honest with how you are feeling. Choose not to go with the crowd. Choose to go with you. Find the one. The 361.

Alice Smith 2019

#writer #poet # christmas #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #loneliness #goddesse #time #wellness #lifecoach #ptsd #livewell #sleep #therapy #recovery #sober #sobriety #drag #draglife

Published by 361one

when I write I am a king. Listen to more at 361 live podcast

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