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Christmas getting too much? Introducing NOEL

It’s Christmas, if you hadn’t already noticed from the relentless TV ads, underwhelming light-switch ons, and the slurry of festive invites and obligations. 

But no fear, we’ve got a mate who can give you a hand this Christmas season. He’s called NOEL (pronounced like Edmonds, not joyeux),  and he’s a Xmas pro. You’ve met his mate ALAN before, and his sage wisdom is just as important. 

Jokes aside, we all know Christmas can be a tough time for a whole host of reasons. Studies show that at least one in ten of us feel unable to cope during the festive season, while more than a quarter of us feel pressured to have the perfect Christmas. (Spoiler – that does not exist, we repeat that does not exist). But NOEL is here to help with some solid advice for Christmas and beyond. 


Saying ‘no’ is OK 

For a period that is centred around goodwill to all, there’s an awful lot of pressure involved – whether that’s to spend time with family, buy gifts you can’t afford, or do things that make you feel , well, shit. Sometimes saying no, or setting limits you are comfortable with, is the best way to ensure you make it through the festive period unscathed.


Open up your door, open up the conversation, and be open about how you feel. 

Don’t stick to your old routine just because. If you’re not into spending another afternoon round Auntie Pat’s why not volunteer, meet new people and create new traditions. Make this Christmas your Christmas. (Bin off the turkey too if you want). 


Enjoy what you can. 

You don’t have to swing from the rooftops singing Slade, but if you can take a moment to savour that mince pie, laugh at the crap dad joke on a Christmas jumper, or revel in the chance to watch Home Alone for the 37th year in a row, then do it. 


Give yourself something to look forward to. You’ll get through this. 

Christmas is only a day. Plan activities and stuff you like to do for January and beyond. It’ll give you something to look forward to while you’re chewing (and chewing) your way through that turkey. Gig, holiday, a meet up with a mate, or a marathon… whatever you like, it’s time to make some plans. 

Now you’ve met Noel, he’ll be popping up over the festive season and beyond to help you have a CALM Christmas and New Year. 


Remember, if you or your mate are in need of immediate help, CALM’s helpline and webchat are open 5pm to midnight every day 0800 58 58 58.


Illustration by Elliot Kruszynski.

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