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  • Writer's pictureEmerald Therapy Services

Christmas 2023

Christmas has arrived! For some people, this time of year brings excitement; it means spending time with loved ones and enjoying festive activities. For others, this time of year can be painful, upsetting or even just annoying!

Here at Emerald, we hold no judgements on how people feel about this time of year. In fact, we thought we’d put together a handy list for both those who are into Christmas and those who aren’t this year, to help get you through the festive season!

If You’re Feeling Christmas This Year

Local Events

If you live in or around Chester, we’ve left a link to some of the Christmas events going on locally over the coming weeks if you’re looking for something to do!

Christmas Movie Night

Why not host a family or friends Christmas movie night? If deciding on a film is a difficult task, put everyone’s choices in a hat and pick out one or two, this way the choice is easy and fair! Get the popcorn, hot chocolate (or wine for adults!) and comfy pj’s ready, get cosy under a blanket and enjoy spending time all together.

Ice Skating

If you’re looking for more of an active activity to do with family or friends, you couldn’t get more Christmassy than ice skating! With ice rinks at Deeside and Widnes open year-round, you can even book in some ice-skating lessons if you’re looking to work on your skills.

Christmas Baking

This is a great one for all ages and abilities. We’ve left a link below to some great Christmas recipes if you want to give any of them a go!

A Nature Walk

Getting all wrapped up and out in nature is great for your wellbeing, especially this time of year with the dark nights drawing in. Whether you walk around town, your neighbourhood or venture further afield, getting out of the house will make it even cosier when you return to a hot chocolate!

If You’re Not Feeling Christmas This Year

You’re Not Alone

Struggling with mental health at Christmas is very common. In 2019, 2 in 5 British adults reported feeling stressed over the festive seasons and around 1 in 4 reported feeling lonely. Since then, we’ve had a global pandemic and a current cost of living crisis, so it makes sense that people may be feeling more stressed or lower than ever. If you’re struggling with your mental health, we encourage you to reach out to friends, family, support charities or a professional if needed, there’s always someone out there who wants to support you.

Social Media Blackout

If you’re not feeling Christmas or struggling with your mental health this year, it can be difficult to see your social media feed flooded with people out doing festive activities, Elf on the Shelf or perfectly decorated homes. If you feel you want too, we recommend perhaps taking a social media break, or even just muting some accounts, for the next few weeks to help avoid comparisons.


If you’ve experienced a bereavement this year, the first Christmas (or any Christmas) may be a particularly tough time for you, and more so if you have Christmas traditions you associate with the person you lost. Remember, you don’t have to try and make Christmas the same as when they were still here. It’s okay if you want to take a break this year, relieve some pressure and have a quieter festive period. However, we also know that some people can experience guilt around feeling happy following a bereavement. We want to reassure you that it’s also equally okay if you want to throw a celebration and feel festive with your loved ones. It’s important to do what’s right for you and try not to feel pressured into doing anything you’re not comfortable with. 

Learn to Say No

This time of year can be filled with invites to events, parties and activities. If a busy calendar overwhelms you or you have a lower social battery, its okay to say no to some things. In fact, by saying no to some events, you may find you have the energy to actually enjoy the events you choose to go to so much more!

Be Kind to Yourself

We love the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy” and it couldn’t be truer around Christmas. From comparisons over decorations, social events, how much you’ve spent on presents and Christmas dinners, it can feel exhausting and stressful. Whatever you’re doing this year, we believe that you’re doing the best with what you have available, physically, financially, and mentally, and we encourage you to be kind to yourselves.

From all of us here at Emerald, we hope that however you choose to spend Christmas you all have a well-deserved break. We want to thank you for all your support in 2023 we will see you in the New Year for many exciting things to come!

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