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Detective Duck’s Mental Health Tips for the Silly Season
The holiday season, often referred to as the “festive” or “silly season,” can bring joy and warmth into our lives. It’s a time for relaxation, quality moments with friends and family, and cherished traditions. However, for many of us, the festive season can also be a challenging time. The pressure to have a good time, loneliness, seasonal depression, overindulging in food and drink, and juggling a hectic schedule can all take a toll on our mental health. If you’ve been dealing with mental health issues, the holidays can sometimes intensify your struggles. So, what can you do to navigate this potentially challenging time of the year? We’ve enlisted the help of Detective Duck, in collaboration with experienced psychologists to offer their pearls of wisdom to guide you through. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, so choose the tips that resonate with you and take action to be the best version of yourself this holiday season.
Express Love in Five Ways:
- Think beyond just giving gifts during Christmas. Show your love by spending quality time with someone, giving a warm hug, engaging in a meaningful conversation, or helping with tasks they appreciate. Love languages go beyond tokens; they encompass time, touch, tasks, and talk.
- During the festive season, keep at least two evenings a week free to rest and recharge. Stick to your exercise routine or spend time in nature for a mental health boost. Balance your diet and alcohol intake, and attend social gatherings to connect with important people in your life.
- Loneliness can be painful. Reach out to someone you haven’t connected with in a while. If you can’t be with family or loved ones this Christmas, contact them through a call, FaceTime, or a simple text. If someone is on your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out. Check-in on your neighbor, a simple act of kindness can make a world of difference during the holiday season.
Embrace Small Moments of Joy:
- Instead of getting consumed by the stress and busyness of the season, savour the little moments of joy. Find happiness in the laughter of friends, the excitement of children, or the aroma of Christmas cooking. Manage your expectations and avoid the pursuit of perfection.
Be True to Yourself:
- It’s okay to enjoy Christmas songs, even the ones you secretly love, like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Embrace your unique preferences.
Share the Load:
- Don’t rely on your partner to handle all the holiday responsibilities. Get involved in shopping and wrapping gifts. Your efforts will be appreciated by your family and your partner.
Seek Help If Needed:
- Sometimes, we can’t see our own challenges clearly. If you’re feeling stuck or confused about your life or career goals, consider seeking professional help in the New Year to make positive changes.
- When spending time with family members who can trigger uncomfortable feelings, try waiting 2-3 minutes before passing judgement. Use the S.T.O.P method: Stop, Take a breath, Observe the situation without reacting, and Proceed when you’re calmer.
Avoid Social Media Comparisons:
- Don’t compare yourself to others, especially the seemingly perfect lives portrayed on social media. Focus on your personal growth and becoming better than you were yesterday.
Choose Your Attitude:
- As Viktor E. Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing – the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude.” Approach the festive season with a positive attitude.
Manage Family Time:
- You can’t choose your family, but you can control how you engage with them. Keep visits short and sweet or take breaks during longer gatherings to relieve stress.
Moderate Alcohol Consumption:
- While it’s fine to enjoy a holiday drink, excessive alcohol can turn the holiday cheer into chaos. Start your drinking later in the day, and space out alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic options.
Create a Gratitude List:
- Write down everything you’re grateful for this Christmas, from your home and family to the small pleasures in life. Gratitude can boost your mood and appreciation.
- If you’re feeling down and don’t have Christmas plans, consider volunteering at a local soup kitchen or charity. Helping others can remind you of your blessings and bring a sense of fulfillment.
Seek Professional Support:
- If you’ve tried various strategies to improve your mental health without success, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. You’re not alone, and there are resources available, such as a GP (ask about a Mental Health Plan), Lifeline (13 11 14) or Someone Health (affordable psychological support available anywhere, any time).
The holiday season can be a mix of joy and challenges, but with these tips and the support of those around you, you can make the most of this special time of year.
From Detective Duck and the entire team at LIVIN, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!