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Give Yourself The Gift Of Mental Health This Holiday Season

The year is fast approaching its end, but along with all the joys that come with the holiday season, this time of year can also be exceptionally stressful. From increased workloads set to meet deadlines before companies close for the holidays to last-minute shopping, the average Australian can find themselves worn out well before the new year arrives.

While travel preparations, navigating potentially trying familial relationships, hosting parties, and increased pressure to spend more money than usual can all lead to higher levels of stress during the holiday season, such excesses and busyness are not the only contributors to poorer mental health at this time of year. Indeed, many Australians – especially the single and elderly – experience amplified levels of loneliness, isolation, and depression come Christmas time.

With so many anxiety- and/or depression-increasing factors at play during the holidays, it is especially necessary to keep a keen eye on your mental health over this period. One way to mitigate stress at this time of year is to plan well in advance for any dinners, parties, visits, or activities so as to avoid the last-minute shopping rush for food, decorations, and presents. Scaling back on consumerism, limiting alcohol consumption, arranging to only spend extended time with people who bolster your wellbeing, and being deliberate about scheduling ‘quiet time’ can also help.

For those who are alone for the holidays, arranging to meet up with others who are spending the season by themselves, or volunteering can be great ways to feel more connected. Many psychologists also offer (additional) sessions over the holiday season, so anyone experiencing poor mental health can still gain professional help if needed.

Rather than becoming overwhelmed by the season, take some time out to rest and care for your mental health. Your future self will thank you.

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