Tips to spread the love this Christmas
While Christmas is for many a time of love, family and festivity, some people find it a lonely and overwhelming occasion.
For this reason the Mental Health Foundation is reminding New Zealanders to connect with each other and make sure the season is a happy one.
Foundation chief executive Judi Clements says the financial and social obligations that sometimes accompany Christmas can cause stress and anxiety and these feelings can be worsened when a person is isolated.
‘‘Most people have time off from work and school over the Christmas period, so it is a great time to connect, or reconnect, with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours,’’ she says.
‘‘Feeling isolated and lonely affects mental health and wellbeing, and we know people are more likely to feel this way at Christmas time.
‘‘Strengthening and renewing relationships enriches lives and improves wellbeing.’’
The foundation will be helping New Zealanders find ways to connect this holiday season with a festive series on Facebook and will be sharing an idea on how to have a connected, happy and mentally healthy holiday every weekday until Christmas Eve.
Ways to connect during the holidays:
Call or message friends you haven’t spoken to in a while
Go to a local event such as free concerts, movies in parks, and Christmas light displays
Spread some festive cheer by writing holiday cards – especially to the people in your life who make life easier in little ways and may otherwise go unacknowledged, like your postie or rubbish collector
Organise a together with neighbours
Make contact with people in the community who might be feeling alone. A simple phone call or quick visit can make someone’s day
Have an open door on Christmas day – think about the people you know who might be spending Christmas alone and invite them over.
Visit facebook.com/ mentalhealthfoundation. getyour