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Mental health tips for managing the holiday break

15 December 2022 Blog
Community services Mental health
While the time from December to the end of January can be filled with fun and frivolity, for those experiencing family discord, isolation or mental health issues it can be sometimes be fraught, lonely or distressing.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed in the build up to or during the festive period, it’s important to practise self care. Here are some simple tips to help guide you towards a more peaceful and happy holiday break.

Have a plan

  • Set realistic and achievable goals based on your individual needs – this may be to organise two social catch-ups between Christmas and New Year, or limit exposure to specific stressors
  • Learn to say no to invitations if you need to avoid particular stressors
  • Have something simple to look forward to, like a trip to the beach or making a favourite Christmas dish
  • Laugh and enjoy small moments
  • Create a limited time for worry each day and then put it aside

Live in the present and don’t look back

  • Strong personal care
  • Eat a well-balanced diet to optimise nutrition (with only the occasional Christmas splurge!)
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, with others if possible
  • Practise good sleep hygiene – this will help maximise your emotional resilience
  • Rest when you need to
  • Reach out to family, friends or the services listed below when you need to chat

Spend time in nature

  • Soak up the sunlight
  • Spend time by water
  • Walk among trees
  • Watch the birds

Mental health exercises to try

  • Journal writing
  • Music, dance and walking
  • Yoga and/or meditation
  • Deep breathing

Support is available

If you are in Perth’s north or east, Midland Head to Health is open every day from 10.00am to 8.00pm (including public holidays across Christmas and New Year) and supports adults with mild to moderate mental health concerns (including stress and anxiety). No appointment is necessary and services are provided at no cost. More at sjog.org.au/midlandheadtohealth or call 1800 595 212.

Elsewhere in Australia, if you need support at any time (24hrs/seven days a week):
Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
BeyondBlue 1300 224 636
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

Ruth Lawrence
Ruth Lawrence - Manager Head to Health

Ruth is the Manager of Midland Head to Health, a service which offers free advice, support, assessment and treatment to adults experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns. 

Ruth has a long history with the Midland area both personally and professionally. 

She was the Service Manager at Swan Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for several years and has a good understanding of the needs of the local community and good working relationships with many of the other service providers. 

She wants Midland Head to Health to be readily accessible, warm and welcoming and truly reflective of St John of God Health Care’s values.