BE KIND TO YOURSELF THIS CHRISTMAS
Release date: 15 December 2014
While many Australian families look forward to the relaxation of Christmas and quality time with family and friends, it can also be a very stressful time for many people.
According to Lifeline CEO Jane Hayden, we need to “be kind to ourselves”.
“Relationship difficulties, excess alcohol consumption, and the pressure of spending money can all combine over the festive season.
“The lead up to Christmas can increase anxiety for many people and the holiday season can heighten feelings of isolation or loneliness too.
“It’s important for people to understand that it is not unusual to feel stressed at this time of year.
“If you are already feeling anxious, take some time out now to plan for how you will cope over the coming weeks.
“Most importantly, I urge anyone having trouble coping with the stress of Christmas to contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or connect with us online at www.lifeline.org.au.“
Ms Hayden said Lifeline’s 24-hour crisis support line 13 11 14 now answers more than 820,000 calls a year.
“There are certainly more calls at this time of year and we expect more than 18,000 Australians to reach out to Lifeline during the week from Christmas to New Year’s Day alone.
“Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and staff, Lifeline is available all day, every day of the year including Christmas Day and throughout the entire holiday period.”
Lifeline anticipates demands on services in 2015 will be greater than ever with around one million Australians expected to call Lifeline next year.
“To help fund these services, all gifts – large or small – will make sure we can respond to more calls this Christmas Season and into 2015. Lifeline’s Christmas appeal is at http://www.lifeline.org.au/christmas.”
Tips for Relieving the Stress of Christmas
- Understand that it is common for people to feel stressed at this time of year.
- Try not to expect too much – aiming for the “perfect” Christmas or assuming that everyone one will be on their best behaviour may not be realistic.
- Limit alcohol - there can be a temptation to drink too much at Christmas, but alcohol can fuel arguments and cause unwanted behaviours.
- If you are feeling down tell someone (e.g. a trusted friend or family member), or talk to your GP, a counsellor, or call a crisis line like Lifeline on 13 11 14.
- Look after yourself physically. If you look after your body, your mind will feel better too.
- Where possible plan ahead to deal with stressful situations.
- Know your limits and listen to your emotions. If you need to calm down, perhaps take a walk or find a quiet place.
- If times are tough financially or for other reasons, make time to sit down as a family and plan a Christmas that is reasonable.
Media Contact – Vicky Darling - Ph: 0408 407 376