Be aware of the impact of alcohol on your mental health this festive season

People in Tayside are being urged to consider how excessive alcohol can impact on their mental health during the festive season.

For many, Christmas is a time for celebration but for some the festive holidays can be a very difficult time and drinking excessive alcohol can often negatively affect our mental health and wellbeing.

Laura Henderson, senior health promotion officer with NHS Tayside, said, “We know it has been a very difficult year for people and Christmas will look very different this year for many.

“Some people may use alcohol to help them cope when they are feeling low, anxious, stressed or worried but excessive drinking can often make mental health symptoms feel worse. It is important for everyone to bear in mind that what we drink can have a real impact on how we feel.

“Managing your drinking and getting the right support are crucial to good mental health. It’s vital that anyone who is struggling gets the support they need.”

Tips for Improving your Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Get Active – Getting outdoors and taking regular exercise can boost your mood
  • Talk to Someone – Talking to a family member or friend about how you feel can help lighten the load
  • Manage your Drinking
    • Try to keep within the lower risk guidelines of no more than 14 units of alcohol per week
    • Try allocating drink free days several days every week where you don’t drink alcohol
    • Try having a no or low alcohol alternative instead of an alcoholic drink
    • For more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/alcohol. Downloading the free Try Dry app can help you set some goals

If you are concerned about your or someone else’s drinking, are feeling anxious, low or experiencing any other symptoms of mental health problems, you should seek support.

You can speak to your GP, and get advice and help from www.samh.org.uk/about-mental-health (Mental Health) and www.alcoholchange.org.uk (Alcohol).

Support is also available at:

Tayside Council on Alcohol  – visit https://alcoholtayside.com/ or call 01382 456012

Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs – visit www.sfad.org.uk or call 08080 101011