Depression and its symptoms can often reach a peak for sufferers during the festive season.
There is such emphasis on perfection and extravagance at this time of year that it can amplify depression symptoms, especially if people feel they cannot live up to those standards.
Last winter (Nov-Dec 2015) the Mind Charity trust conducted a study into the pressures of Christmas for those with mental health issues. The results founds that more than half of participants (52 per cent) have considered harming themselves at Christmas, while nearly half (45 per cent) have considered taking their own life.
Even those without a diagnosed mental illness can still suffer and find this time of the year significantly challenging. There is the increased financial pressure because of the extra expense with gifts/decorations/food and increased work stress dealing with end of year deadlines and staff absence. In addition there can be social anxiety due to the additional gatherings that you may feel obliged to attend.
So what can be done to help?
Sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes.
Make no effort to control your breathe; simply breath naturally.
Focus your attention on the breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and stomach. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.
It is with much affection that I wish everyone reading this a healthy and harmonious Christmas.
If you feel you may benefit from one-to-one therapy then please feel free to get in Contact with us at Kent Therapy, using the tab above.
All the very best,
Samantha Friend D. HYP