However, for some Christmas may be met with some apprehension and challenges, particularly for those living with mental health challenges or for those who are supporting a loved one living with mental health challenges.
Amid all the flurry of Christmas, taking time out to remember a few simple ways to protect your wellbeing could make all the difference. So here are 25 tips from HelpingMinds to make this festive season a little more manageable.
If you are not coping, communicate openly and remember it’s ok to say “no”. Don’t carry the entire burden.
Christmas time tends to be a time when people spend more money than they can afford. Avoid adding financial stress to your burden this Christmas time by making a budget and sticking to it.
Decide which Christmas activities and traditions are most significant to you. Only participate in those activities that have significance for you and decline the activities which cause stress or are insignificant for you.
Relaxation techniques are useful when you begin to get irritated or upset. Take a few deep breaths, go for a walk or try some mindfulness. Whatever works for you.
It is important you stay healthy over the holidays and exercising can be huge mood booster and a great way get you out of your own head for a while. Sometimes finding time or motivation can be difficult, so start small and set realistic goals.
Think about a safety plan for you and your loved ones over Christmas should anything happen. Who can you contact in case of an emergency and are they available over Christmas? What services are open over the Christmas period that could help you and your family?
If talking about your problems is overwhelming, consider writing them down. Lots of people find that keeping a journal helps. Perhaps you can email or text the important people in your life.
Keep in touch with friends and family. Even if it’s just a short phone call, having people to talk and laugh with is a great protective factor for our mental health.
Everyone has their own struggles regardless of whether you can see it or not. Comparing yourself to others may not always be helpful. Instead try to surround yourself with people who care about you and are supportive.
Boundaries are essential to healthy relationships and a healthy life. Understand and communicate your limits to your loved ones to avoid feeling resentment this festive season.
Make self-care a priority by giving yourself permission to put yourself first. It will be difficult to care for others if you are feeling stressed.
Christmas is full of temptations but try to enjoy everything in moderation. Overindulgence is often a result of people trying to improve their mood but you may be left with feelings of guilt and shame afterwards.
Just because it is Christmas, does not mean the attitudes or behaviours of relatives and friends will change. Accept this and plan how you will respond to help keep things positive and productive.
Drinking responsibly is about drinking in moderation. Alcohol can have a negative impact on our mental health, so make informed choices and know your limits when it comes to drinking.
Are you putting too much pressure on yourself this Christmas? You are not alone! Don’t take things so seriously. Be gentle with yourself and just do the best you can.
Connecting with your community this Christmas can be a great way to give back and create feel good feelings. Join a community group, volunteer for a worthy cause, donate your resources, shop locally or even organize your own event.
Life is not a race, it’s a journey. Pace yourself this Christmas and pay attention to your energy levels. If you need a break, allow yourself to have some me-time.
It’s easy to focus on the negative things in life but we all have something to be thankful for. Write down or think about something you’re grateful for, even if it’s as simple as a rainbow or someone letting you in to busy traffic.
In such a busy and stressful time, it’s important to recharge your batteries. Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours sleep a night to avoid feeling exhausted.
Balance all of those tasty Christmas treats with healthy meal options during your down time. Eat lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and quality sources of protein and dairy. A healthy body can help create a healthy mind.
The pressures of a busy holiday season can make some people feel worn-out, try not to feel guilty for putting yourself first! It could be as simple as reading a book for a while or watching your favourite movie.
Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful and being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Be kind to yourself this Christmas and know that imperfections are OK.
Don’t think you are alone. Lots of people find Christmas difficult. Stay strong and seek connection with others if you are struggling, there are still support organisations open at this time of year if you need them.
Be assertive if you need to be and know it is OK to say no. Put your wellbeing first and don’t over commit yourself. It’s okay to decline someone’s offer or invitation without feeling guilty or shameful. It is OK to put yourself first.
If you are struggling to cope, find someone you can talk to. During the Christmas season our office will be closed from Friday the 21st of December and will reopen on Wednesday the 2nd of January. For further supports, please consult the following:
Crisis Care (24 hr support) – 1800 199 008
Mental Health Emergency Response Line (24 hr support) – Metro callers 1300 555 788, Peel callers 1800 676 822 (free call)
HelpingMinds respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and Elders, past and present. Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
HelpingMinds is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. HelpingMinds welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity
HelpingMinds respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present. Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
HelpingMinds is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. Helping Minds welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity