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Help for the Festive Season

Posted on the 18th December 2015

Lancashire"s Mindsmatter service is encouraging people to get in touch if they feel low or overwhelmed over the festive season.

With the festive season well underway it"s a time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. However, for many of us there is also a lot of pressure and added stress from family commitments to financial worries. During the festive season, these demands can take their toll on people and affect their mental health and wellbeing. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust"s Mindsmatter team provides a range of services to help people when they find things get too much, ranging from stress control workshops to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Sue Crutchley, Mindsmatter Service Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

"Christmas and New Year is a great time to get together and catch up with family and friends but it can also bring up stressful situations, such as family issues and extra financial concerns. It can also be an extremely difficult time for people feeling lonely and isolated. If anyone is feeling low it is important that they seek help so they don"t suffer in silence and visit their GP for advice or their local Mindsmatter team for support."

To help reduce stress during the festive season follow these tips:

  • If there have been any family rows during the year, resolve them. Tell the people you argued with that you`re looking forward to seeing them. Ask if you can get together before Christmas to talk about whatever problem you had.
  • Plan the day and share out the jobs that need to be done. Don`t slave away for hours on your own and feel like people have taken advantage of you.
  • Discuss your plans with others, including any children who will be there, so that you can listen to their ideas and wishes for the day. Then you can come up with a celebration which includes things that please everyone.
  • Have a timetable for Christmas Day so that you don"t all sit around for hours doing nothing. Try to make sure you won`t be spending a lot of time with a difficult person or someone you don"t get along with.
  • Don"t drink too much. Drinking excessively is never a good idea.
  • Children can get overexcited, so plan a lovely long walk for a change of scene and some fresh air. Everybody will feel better and pleasantly tired instead of irritably tired.

For more information about your local Mindsmatter team please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Mindsmatter.

For anyone feeling low or in distress, the Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline provides a listening ear and confidential support for those who want someone to talk to. The helpline will be open every day from 7pm-11pm throughout Christmas and New Year and can be contacted on 0800 915 4640. Normal opening hours will then be resumed in the New Year, which are 7pm-11pm Monday to Friday and 12noon-12midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.