For many, the Christmas and New Year period is a time of joy and happiness and spending time with family and friends. For others, on top of everything our community has been through in 2020, it is the most difficult time of the year.
For some people, the festive season and holidays can trigger or exacerbate feelings of loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression.Taking care of yourself and making time to do what is important to you is part of staying healthy and well this Christmas season.
This year, some of our community partners have shared their tips on staying healthy and happy—or helping others who aren’t feeling great.
Our partners have received funding through ACT Health’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Innovation Grants for initiatives to help build resilience, protect and promote wellbeing and create connections within the community.
Thank you to Council on the Ageing, The Street Theatre, Feros Care, Volunteering ACT, Palliative Care ACT and Havelock House for sharing their Ways to Wellbeing tips.
1. Be prepared
Not everything always goes to plan, so focus on what is most important, and simplify your festive season if you normally commit to too much.
2. Reach out to older family members and neighbours
Go back to basics and write letters by hand or if they’re confident in using technology, share online activities with them, like reading, exercising or playing games together.
3. Give back
Keep yourself busy and connect with your local community. Volunteering can offer new experiences, help builds a sense of purpose and value and broaden your friendships. Start searching for a volunteering opportunity that you'll enjoy.
4. Reflect on connections
Reflecting on the people and things that bring us joy can help us feel more connected to them. Keeping a gratitude journal for those things that make us thankful or happy can boost mental health and wellbeing. Writing down memories of loved ones no longer with us can also help keep the connection to them.
5. Look after yourself
Do what energises you and connects you with what’s important. Clear your mind by going for a walk, listen to relaxing music or read a book. Get enough rest and make healthy eating choices.
6. Be active
Maintain your physical health. Exercise is good for the body, and can positively impact on your social, emotional and overall wellbeing. Regular exercise can help promote a relaxed state of mind, boost self-esteem and help people connect.
7. Seek help
There is always someone you can talk to about how you are feeling. These crisis and information services can be contacted 24/7 during the holidays: