Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

Post-Christmas Mental Health

Hey Sam,

I suffer with bad depression, anxiety/panic and OCD, but the few weeks before Christmas I've been feeling really good and my mental health has really improved. But now Christmas is over and I thought everything was getting better, but now I'm feeling low and stressed etc. all over again. And I was feeling happy that I was getting better but now that I'm going back downhill, thats bringing me down too. I don't know what to do! Everything is just 100x more stressful (im even freaking out about exams that aren't until June) and I'm finding things are harder to cope with. Any advice?

Thank you :)

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Special times of year like Christmas can be distracting because they can take our minds off everyday things going on in our lives - including the way we're feeling. Having lots of different things going on, feeling excited about presents and being busy can help us cope with problems we may be having.

Once Christmas is over, it can feel unsettling - the excitement ends, decorations come down and it’s back to our normal routine. A lot of people can start to feel down around this time and find it hard to cope. Sometimes thinking ahead to what's happening in the new year isn't always positive as like you say, you've started feeling anxious about exams in June already.

One thing you could try to help you cope and feel more positive could be to use distractions, keep busy and try new things to take your mind off your depression, anxiety/panic and OCD to create a similar feeling to what you felt before Christmas. It might also help to try and focus more on the here and now rather than looking too far ahead. Although for exams, you do have to plan for them and not leave revision until the last minute - but this could be done by careful planning.

It’s not clear from your message, whether you have professional support for the conditions you mention. If you haven’t yet seen a doctor (and this will depend on your age) about the way you're feeling, I'd encourage you to do that. And if you're getting help from medical professionals, maybe have a chat with them and review the support you're getting.

We've got ideas to help you with depression and anxiety that you might like to check out. And if you'd like to talk things through with a Childline counsellor, you can do so at any time and for free by contacting them on 0800 1111 or having a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care for now,

Sam

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small.

Write me a letter