Looking after your mental health during the festive season

The festive season has arrived!  

 For some, it can be the most wonderful time of year, for others it’s the most stressful and anxiety inducing.  

While it can feel like festive cheer is compulsory, it’s important to recognise that you are not required to force feelings of joyfulness if you’re not happy or willing to celebrate.  

2022 has been a difficult year for many and the traditions of the past don’t always have to remain if they cause you too much discomfort or trauma.  

Try and stay connected to those who understand how you may be feeling, for example a support group, faith community, or friends.  

The holiday season can bring up feelings that may not be as present throughout the rest of the year, if you need someone to speak to urgently, know that you’re not alone and that support is always available.  

If you or a loved one needs additional help you can contact the below services.   

  • Lifeline for 24/7 crisis support 12 11 14 
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467 

It’s important to look after your physical health as well as your mental health, keeping in mind that they are both connected.  

While it may be tempting to turn to substances like alcohol to cope with stress or sadness, overindulging will only worsen anxiety and depression. 

Make sure you continue to get regular exercise, stay hydrated and keep as active as possible.  

The pressures to partake in the commercial aspect of Christmas can also feel overwhelming, which is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead and create a budget.  

Consider how much money you can comfortably spend and stick to the amount and remember that in many instances, helpful gestures and time spent with loved ones can be more important than purchased presents.  

You can also simply let people know you are unable to give gifts this year.  

However you celebrate the festive season, stay safe and know that there is always support available.  

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