Turning Point offers mental health advice for festive period

News item posted: 19 June 2017

As the festive period approaches, many will be making plans for celebration and enjoying spending time with friends and family. For some people, however, Christmas and New Year can be a stressful and depressing time.

It is a time when people may have no place to turn to seek help. For this reason, it is important for people to be aware of the tools they can use, and the support they can access, to ensure they are able to cope.

Turning Point has issued the below advice to help people maintain their mental health over the festive period:

  • Keep a list of services/phone numbers you can call over Christmas. Visit: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx.
  • Keep busy. Volunteering can be a good way to spend time with others and to do something positive over Christmas (for example, soup kitchens and homeless shelters).
  • Drink aware. Be mindful of consuming too much alcohol.
  • Reach out to friends/family if you can – this can help prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • Call in on a neighbour who you think might be alone this Christmas – they will appreciate your thoughtfulness and it will make you feel better too.
  • Remember, Christmas is just another day! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and definitely don’t feel you have to go overboard when buying presents – it’s the thought that counts.

John Campbell, Turning Point’s Managing Director for Mental Health said: ‘The stresses and expectations at Christmas can feel overwhelming at times. We put special significance on a ‘time for family’ during this period but many modern families are eclectic and can live far apart – this is completely normal.

‘If you are going to be with family, be realistic to help avoid disappointments and arguments. You can also lighten the mood by playing family games to get everyone involved.

‘Above all, at this busy time, try to take time out for yourself and relax. For example, you could listen to music, read or plan a few hours away from your screaming kids! Most importantly though, make sure you have time to reflect on the year and the challenges you have overcome … and tell yourself well done!’

If you are experiencing mental health issues, visit www.turning-point.co.uk to check details of your local mental health service.