With Christmas nearing quickly, many of us are filled with joy and excitement. But Christmas can be a difficult and tough period for many. Our Principal Practitioner and Clinical Psychologist, Dr Andrew Wilkinson gives his thought and tips to help yourself and others enjoy Christmas and avoid too much stress.

red suit will have visited and we will all be spending the day celebrating and being cheerful with friends and family, eating our body weight in ham and prawns, opening gifts and perhaps engaging in a friendly game of backyard cricket.

But what we sometimes forget is that Christmas and the holiday period isn’t always a happy time for everyone. For many people the looming holidays bring on feelings of stress, anxiety and loneliness. For some the pressure to be able to provide gifts to loved ones can bring immense financial stress and this can result in feelings of helplessness. For others who may not have that supportive network of friends and family around to spend the holiday with, feelings of loneliness and isolation can be overwhelming.

What to do if you are feeling a bit down over Christmas?
  • Connect with others – even neighbours, or charity groups
  • Try not to focus on the idea of ‘The Perfect Christmas’ – make it your own in whatever ways are special to you
  • Stay active and do something fun and interesting
What to do if you notice someone else struggling during Christmas?
  • Check in with others and ask if there’s anything you can do – it’s often the smallest things that make the biggest difference
  • Remain kind and respectful despite the stress that Christmas often brings

So this Christmas try to be mindful of others and if you see someone who looks like they are struggling with the holidays remember a simple gesture such as an invite to lunch, a care package of leftovers or even a chat and check in can make all the difference.

Merry Christmas to everyone and a happy and safe new year. And remember if you do need to talk to someone over the holiday period you can contact the following support services at any time:

Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mental Health Line : 1800 011 511
Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800

We look forward to learning about you and helping where we can. Please don’t hesitate to reach out at www.beamservices.com.au/contact.

Dr Andrew Wilkinson

Beam Principal Practitioner and Clinical Psychologist

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