Holidays can be an exciting or season of mixed emotions, as some get ready to gather with their loved ones, others may feel a sense of loneliness… and with the disruption of the pandemic, feelings of stress and anxiety are likely to heighten this year.
For the staggering 1 in 5 Australians that have a mental health condition, the added stress and expectation to be happy and have fun during Christmas can often exaggerate symptoms of depression and anxiety. And for many, with the increased travel restrictions which will see some families and friends part this year, for some a very first time.
We have put together some tips to help encourage self-care during the holiday season:
Take a step back and pause
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a step back, pause and breathe. Now is the time to take a BREAK and give yourself space. A simple mindfulness breathing exercise might help calm your mind, regroup and reconnect with where you are and where you want to be.
Be kind to yourself
Take care of yourself, mentally and physically. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, healthy nutrition, a balanced diet and physical exercise. You deserve a pat on the back for what you’ve had to face this year. Don’t forget to reward yourself.
Set up a Christmas budget
When you are not able to spend your money comfortably this holiday season – don’t, as this will only add financial pressures. Gifts are not the only way to show that you care for others. Spending quality time together whether face-to-face or online is simple, but it can be meaningful and unforgettable.
Reach out to your loved ones
Occasions like Christmas and New Year can bring up the feeling of stress, sadness or even grief. If you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your loved ones, whether it is your family, friends, colleague, mentor or partner. There is no better feeling than surrounding yourself with good energy.
Seek professional help if you need it
Despite your best efforts, you might find yourself persistently stress, sad or anxious. If this is the case, be open to the idea of seeking help from a professional. There are resources available to help you navigate your way and make sense of your situation.