A holiday headspace: Support others this Christmas

CHRISTMAS CHEER: The holiday season can be stressful for a lot of reasons. Make sure you are taking time to look after the mental health and wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones this Christmas. Photo: Supplied
CHRISTMAS CHEER: The holiday season can be stressful for a lot of reasons. Make sure you are taking time to look after the mental health and wellbeing of yourself and your loved ones this Christmas. Photo: Supplied

Christmas can be a tricky time for many of us.

A lack of routine, social isolation, and time spent in close quarters with our families can sometimes leave us feeling a little worse for wear!

For those who anticipate Christmas being a difficult time, it can be helpful to make a plan in advance to take care of your headspace.

Avoiding people and subjects that are triggering, managing expectations of yourself and others, and scheduling time alone can all go a long way this December.

If things are feeling hard, going for a walk, taking a moment to slow down your breath, playing with an animal, or listening to your favourite music are all positive ways to cope with difficult feelings and situations.

Remember that keeping physically healthy is important for our mental health.  

Making sure you get enough sleep, minimising or avoiding drugs and alcohol, eating well and exercising, and spending time doing the things you love can make a huge difference.

It’s also important over the next few weeks to keep in mind those around you may be doing it tough as well.

Spotting signs and symptoms of friends and loved ones not coping with stress surrounding Christmas or the turning of the New Year, and then helping acknowledge or address them, could make the holiday period a little bit more manageable and enjoyable.

We would like to remind everyone that headspace Mandurah will be closed over the Christmas period from 4:30pm on Friday, December 22, and will reopen on January 2, 2019, in the new Peel Health Hub at 91 Allnutt Street in Mandurah.

If you or someone close to you needs urgent support during this period, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or emergency services on 000.

On behalf of the team at headspace Mandurah, I would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas, and a wonderful New Year.

I hope you take the time to read this month’s article, as there are several tips for looking after yourself and your loved ones over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Kay Hlaing is centre manager at headspace Mandurah.