The holiday season can be a stressful period, while intended to be a time of celebration, it can also be a time of sadness or loneliness for some.
You may feel that the holidays don’t meet your expectations, or you may miss people who you cannot be with over the holidays. It is normal to feel down occasionally and for a short period of time. If you feel your depression is more than just a normal short-term period of sadness please seek assistance.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, go immediately to your local emergency room.
Helplines can provide you with immediate access to support and advice that is confidential, free and anonymous. The following link to our website contains:
Mental Health Emergency Response Line …1300 555 788
Mead Center …………………………………………9391 2400
Police …………………………………………………..13 14 44
Additionally, some of the following strategies may help you manage feelings of sadness over the holidays:
1. Self-care When everyone seems to be smiling around you, it can make it harder to acknowledge that you might not be feeling happy yourself. It is important to be honest with yourself, though. Trying to force yourself to be happy just because it is the holidays is not healthy. Take some time out to clear your mind by going for a walk, listening to soothing music, reading a book or practising breathing exercises. Maintaining good habits like getting enough rest and making healthy eating choices can help to reduce stress.
2. Keep active Maintaining our physical health is not only good for our bodies, it can also have a positive impact on our social, emotional and overall wellbeing. Regular exercise is seen as an active recovery tool for people with lived experience of anxiety and depression as it can help to promote a relaxed state of mind, boost self-esteem, and can help people connect with others through shared social experiences. Incorporate exercise into each day as part of a healthy routine by going for a walk in the park, doing a sport or activity you find fun and enjoyable.
3. Maintain connections Living apart from family, complex relationships or the recent loss of someone can magnify feelings of loneliness or isolation during the holiday season. If you are feeling sad or down, reach out to a neighbour, family member, friend or community group for support and companionship. Volunteering your time with a group can also help broaden and strengthen your friendships.
4. Accept help This requires strength in itself, as does offering help to others. What you might consider a small gesture can have a big impact on someone’s wellbeing. Likewise, it can also play a positive role in enhancing your own wellbeing. You might want to help someone cook a meal or just be there to listen. Reversely, if someone offers you help, don’t be afraid to accept it. It is also important that you seek professional help if you need it. There are crisis and information services operating 24/7 during the holiday period. https://lifepathpsychology.com.au/mental-health-links/