Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Guide for Parents during Christmas

Kerry Hearsey
December 29, 2023
 min read
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Supporting Mental Health and Wellbeing: A Guide for Parents during Christmas

Christmas is often considered the most wonderful time of the year, but for some children and young adults in the UK, it can be a challenging period for their mental health and wellbeing. The combination of high expectations, social pressures, and disrupted routines can contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression. As parents, it's crucial to recognize these struggles and provide the necessary support. In this blog, we will explore ways in which parents can help their children navigate the holiday season while prioritising mental health and wellbeing.

Understanding the Challenges

1. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 38% of young people in the UK feel more anxious and depressed during the festive season.

2. Research by YoungMinds reveals that 71% of parents have seen their child become more anxious and stressed during Christmas.

**Common Challenges:**

1. **Social Isolation:** The pressure to attend social events can lead to feelings of isolation for those who struggle with social anxiety.

2. **Financial Stress:** Families often face financial strain during Christmas, which can impact children's mental health.

3. **Academic Stress:** For students, the holiday season coincides with exams and coursework deadlines, adding to their stress levels.

4. **Expectations:** The pressure to be happy and festive can be overwhelming for those dealing with mental health issues.

Supporting Children and Young Adults

1. **Open Communication:** Encourage your child to express their feelings and concerns. Listen actively without judgement.

2. **Maintain Routine:** Try to keep a sense of routine during the holidays to provide stability and reduce anxiety.

3. **Manage Expectations:** Talk to your child about the realities of Christmas and that it's okay not to be "merry" all the time.

4. **Limit Stressors:** Avoid overloading schedules with activities and prioritize self-care.

5. **Financial Planning:** Involve children in discussions about budgeting for gifts and festivities, fostering financial responsibility.

6. **Seek Professional Help:** If your child's mental health worsens during Christmas, consult a mental health professional for guidance.

7. **Be Patient:** Remember that recovery from mental health challenges takes time. Offer ongoing support and understanding.

Christmas should be a time of joy and celebration, but it's essential to recognise that not everyone experiences it in the same way. As parents, our role is to provide a safe and supportive environment for our children, especially during the holiday season. By acknowledging their struggles, fostering open communication, and seeking professional help when needed, we can help children and young adults in the UK navigate the challenges of Christmas while prioritising their mental health and wellbeing.


1. Mental Health Foundation. (2019). "The Lonely Society? The Mental Health Foundation's Inquiry into Loneliness." [](

2. YoungMinds. (2021). "Christmas 2020: The Impact on Young People's Mental Health." [](

Kerry Hearsey
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