Why My Mental Health Is More Important Than a Christmas Party

Whilst I’m sat at home in my most comfortable loungewear, my colleagues have donned their gladrags, heading out to what some of them perceive as the biggest night in their social calendar: the work Christmas party. I happily declined the invitation, and to be honest, there’s not much I regret about my decision.

I’ve been struggling with my mental wellbeing recently. Potential life changes, work stresses, stepping into unknowns … that kind of thing. It’s the kind of thing I like to keep private, away from work, because I like those boundaries. But it’s hard to tell people you aren’t mentally feeling your best, especially when you work so tirelessly to put on a smile and a facade five days a week, for 40 hours. And if I look fine on the outside, I must be fine on the inside, right?

Right now, whilst I’m trying to sort out this chaotic mess of feeling overwhelmed with life and everything else going on in my mind (oh hello, overthinking brain), nothing seems worse than another few hours of putting a smile on my face in the name of a Christmas party. I didn’t want to be put in that situation where I’d feel worse for going than not going at all. Saying no became easier than saying yes. I need to tip my scales back to balance, and look after number one even if it does mean a little case of FOMO. I can live with that.

As for my evening? I’ll be finishing up another 1000 words of the book, and tucking into The Affair for the first time. Not a single ounce of regret in sight.

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