For most people, Christmas is a happy time of year. But for some it can be a very sad and lonely time, even a time of crisis. Lifeline speaks to 1,400 people a day over the festive period. Chris Wagner from Lifeline shares 8 tips for relieving stress and staying calm over the holidays.
1. Stress is common
Understand that it is common for people to feel stressed at this time of year.
2. Limit your expectations
Try not to expect too much – aiming for the “perfect” Christmas or assuming that everyone will be on their best behaviour may not be realistic.
3. Watch your alcohol intake
Limit alcohol – there can be a temptation to drink too much at Christmas, but alcohol can fuel arguments and cause unwanted behaviour.
4. Reach out
If you are feeling in crisis, tell someone, e.g. a trusted friend or family member, or talk to your GP, a counsellor, or call a helpline like Lifeline on 13 11 14.
5. Stay healthy
Look after yourself physically. If you look after your body your mind will feel better too.
Where possible plan ahead to deal with stressful situations.
7. Know your limits
Know your limits and listen to your emotions. If you need to calm down, take a walk or find a quiet place.
8. Have a Christmas that’s within your limits
If times are tough financially or for other reasons, make time to sit down as a family and plan a Christmas that is reasonable.
Remember, if you need support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au.