Nurture mental wellbeing during the holidays

Be kind to yourself this holiday season. Christmas can be a time of joy and celebration for some, but for others, it can be stressful and isolating, even amplifying mental health challenges. It’s important to acknowledge how you feel at this time of year and prioritise your own mental wellbeing and that of others you may be caring for. These strategies may help:

Recognise emotions – Acknowledging how you feel is the first step in being able to prioritise what you need for your own mental health. Don’t forget to check in with others you care for.

Look after yourself – Eat healthy food, stay hydrated, exercise, get good sleep, avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.

Choose supportive connections – Where possible, choose to be with people you value and who value you in return.

Have realistic relationship expectations – Being realistic about what you can expect this time of year enables you to plan for your own welfare and reduce stress and disappointment.

Set boundaries – It’s ok to say no to things that aren’t helpful to you – your needs are just as important as others.

Give thanks – Keep a daily gratitude list – appreciate the small things.

Take time out – Allow time for rest and relaxation. Go for nature walks, see a movie, read a book – do whatever makes you feel good.

Create your own traditions – Whether you’re alone or not at Christmas, you can always create your own traditions. Choose things that bring you joy – having something positive to look forward to in the coming years can make a real difference.

Gift yourself – Treat yourself to a gift – it could be as simple as creating a self-help stocking – fill it with things that lift your mood and help you through challenging times. You could even make one for a friend or neighbour – acts of kindness enhance our mental wellbeing.

Connect and give back – Connect with community groups or volunteer. Helping others is a great way to reduce loneliness and generate support systems.

Keep coping strategies handy – Make a list of things that help you in difficult times and keep it somewhere visible.

Seek support – Whether it’s reaching out to a trusted friend or a professional support service, it’s important to acknowledge when you may need help. If you have been experiencing concerning symptoms for over 2 weeks, book an appointment with your GP, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for 24-hour confidential health advice, or find a mental health service in your area.

Remember, you are not alone – there are plenty of support services and resources available. Here are a few:

For phone support call:

In an emergency call 000.

Please note that these tips are general in nature and do not constitute professional advice. Queensland Mental Health Week is an initiative to improve community awareness and engagement we do not provide support services. To get help please contact your GP, access the phone services above, or call triple 0 if it’s an emergency.

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