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Holidays Can Be Hard and That’s OK

its okay not to be okay colourful wording on grey background

From family gatherings to reunions from times gone by, the Christmas and New Year period is traditionally packed with social activities and expectations too. But we know that this time of year simply isn’t for everyone. This time between Christmas and New Year can be particularly hard, including if you’re new to recovery from alcohol or drugs.

The festive period isn’t always merry and bright, and for many of us, it can be an isolating and lonely time. Not only that, but there is a certain pressure for you to be the shiniest version of yourself, smiling and joking, and that isn’t always the reality. We’re here to say that it is okay not to be okay, and to give you some ideas and support tools that you can use when you need them this holiday season.

Different people may struggle for different reasons, from strained family relationships, addiction, to just not feeling in the mood for socialising non-stop. Whatever your reason for not loving the holidays, that is more than okay.

It’s okay not to be okay 

Just because it is deemed as a happy time of year, doesn’t mean your own mental health is always going to cooperate. Know that you are well within your rights to feel however you want to feel, and that you don’t have to put on a brave face for anyone.

Speak up and speak out 

On that subject, it is important that you speak to someone about how you’re feeling, and seek the help you need throughout the holidays. Whatever your reason for feeling down, out of sorts, or detached, speak to someone you trust or a professional and get it off your chest. We promise you will feel better for it.

Find your own tribe 

As we grow up, our friendships change and so do the circles that we spend time in. This is natural, but it does mean that we have to evaluate things as we go through the years and different life changes. Find the people who make you feel your best, and spend more time surrounded by them. It is an important step in making yourself feel better at any time of year, not just the Christmas holidays. 

Create your own holiday 

Throw tradition out of the window and make this season what you want to. That might be taking a last minute trip, or it might be volunteering to give something back. There is no one way or right way to spend the holidays, and if it is a difficult time of the year for you, a change might be what you need.

Self-care is key 

Amongst all of this, you need to look after yourself. Whether it is regular walks to keep your mental health in check, meditating or crafting, you need to do what makes you feel like yourself, throughout the year. New Year’s Eve can be massively pressurised, and with busier social calendars, self-care is often the thing that slips first, when really it is the thing that we need the most.

Whatever the reason is that you find this time of year difficult, we understand that it doesn’t always work out.

Help Me Stop

At Help Me Stop, we offer non-residential rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Our treatment plans help our clients to face their addictions and start their roads to recovery. Our Dayhab model means that clients come to visit us for their treatment and they leave the facilities in between daily sessions. This means that rehab is more affordable and accessible, as well as  being integrated into your daily life. 

We offer treatment in London and Winchester, and we also have an online rehab programme which is available across the world. We help our clients to find the tools and skills that help them through their journey of recovery and we offer three months of aftercare to all clients who complete their treatment programme, so that you can be sure you have everything you need to succeed in recovery.

Our treatment programme centres around integrative psychotherapy, which blends a number of evidence-based therapies, including the 12 step approach to addiction treatment, person-centred therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, family therapy, art therapy, recovery workshops, mindfulness, and more. We work mainly in group sessions, and every client also has a one-to-one counselling session each week with their focal counsellor. 

If you would like to speak to someone about how we can help, you can get in touch for a confidential conversation with a member of our team. Call us on 0208 191 9191 or email us on

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