Look after your mental health over the holidays

Date published: 19 December 2017

People are encouraged to look after their mental health and that of their loved ones over the holiday period. Christmas is traditionally viewed as a time of celebration and happiness, but unfortunately for some it can also be stressful and lonely.

Tips on dealing with stress

Many of us will be looking forward to the Christmas holidays so that we can spend time with our family and friends.

However, this time of the year also brings stress, with people worrying about money, remembering the loss of a loved one, or feeling lonely.

Practical tips on dealing with stress over the festive season include:

  • make time for family and friends
  • go for a walk or run, cycle, play a game, garden or dance - exercising makes you feel good
  • stop, pause, or take a moment to look around you
  • don’t be afraid to try something new, rediscover an old hobby or set yourself a new challenge over the holidays
  • don’t be afraid to give and accept support – being available for others if they need support should encourage them to be there for you too

People often use alcohol to relax, but instead of helping us to cope it can make things worse. If you choose to drink, staying within the safe drinking limits and avoid excessive or binge drinking.

You can find out more about mental health and available services at this link:

Look out for the welfare of others

As well as our own, we should also look out for family members, friends and neighbours and be mindful of their mental health.

It's important to look out for behaviour that could indicate that someone is under pressure and really needs help.

If you are worried or concerned about someone else, talk to them. Ask them how they are feeling and if there is anything you can do to help them.

Distress or despair

If you think someone might be in need of immediate help, find out what to do at the page below:

If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on:

  • phone: 0808 808 8000

The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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