Anxious At Christmas? Your Love Language Can Help You Cope

It's not the most joyous season for everybody.

Andy Williams famously sung the words “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” but for a staggering 1 in 3 Brits, it’s a time for mental health “nosedives” according to Mental Health UK.

For many of us, it’s less a time of celebration and more to do with gritting our teeth and getting through it. There can be plenty of reasons for this including broken families, the pressure of expectation, and if you already have mental health problems, the overriding themes of joy can just make you feel more alienated than ever.

However, according to Emily Carr from CreateGiftLove, we can make the most of this season by identifying our love languages and using them to cope.

How love languages can help you cope with Christmas

If you appreciate words of affirmation, use them on yourself

Words of affirmation is a common love language and it basically means you tend to feel most loved and appreciated when people verbalise that to you. However, Carr urges that if this is you, you don’t need to wait for others to express their love.

She said: “Positive self-talk goes a long way. Create an affirmation and say it to yourself several times a day. Have it written on an object such as a keyring so that every time you see it, you’re reminded of that affirmation.”

She continued to say this is something that can actually ease anxiety. “Getting into the habit of using affirmations with breathwork can work to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) and ease anxiety,” she adds.

If you appreciate quality time, reframe how that seems to you during festivities

Quality time at Christmas doesn’t always feel like it’s worthwhile, even to those that recognise it as their love language.

Carr urges people to remember that quality time can be whatever you need it to be. If you’re not looking to get drunk at your pal’s Christmas party, maybe arrange a quiet evening with them in your home.

If you are all about acts of service, now is the time for familial Christmas elves

No, seriously. If you feel valued and loved from acts of service, ask your loved ones to help with your Christmas to-do list.

Whether that’s picking up gifts, helping you wrap them or even mundane house cleaning ahead of hosting guests. Your loved ones want to help you, and you value the help, it’s a win-win!

Receiving gifts doesn’t have to be costly

While you may feel most loved when you receive gifts, you’ll know that for you, it’s not about the price tag but instead the thought that went into a gift. It’s the same for your loved ones, too.

Don’t fall into debt trying to keep up with materialistic trends and instead get them something personal to them such as framed photographs.

If you love physical touch, prioritise that over the endless group chats

Festive season also means planning season and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the endless threads planning parties, get togethers, and the day itself, mute them. Plan a certain time of day to reply and otherwise give yourself the mental headspace.

Instead, make plans for a cuddly date with your partner or even meet a friend for coffee and a Christmas hug.

If nothing else, remember it’ll be over soon enough and you just need to get through it by being kind and patient to yourself.

Help and support:

  • Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.
  • Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).
  • CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.
  • The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email
  • Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on