This month’s Health & Wellbeing update aims to give you advice and guidance on all you need to know about staying healthy and looking after your general wellbeing over the Christmas period.
We are looking at:
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Christmas can affect our mental health in lots of different ways. It’s a time of year that often puts extra pressure on us.
Christmas could affect your mental health if you:
If you live with mental health problems, there may be other reasons that you find Christmas tough. For example:
If Christmas is a hard time for you, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are things you can try that might help, such as:
Everything seems to be heightened and more intense at Christmas – from the music and lights to the traffic and crowds. All of the above is daunting for most people, but can be even more intense if you struggle with anxiety.
People with social anxiety disorder may find the prospect of having to make an effort to see people, in person or over video, overwhelming. If you struggle with panic disorder, you may find that the intensity and frequency of your panic attacks increase at this time of year. Generalised anxiety disorder, which affects every 6 in 100 according to recent anxiety stats, can mean that all of your usual worries are intensified during the festive period, and you may find that you’re anxious about a huge range of issues, meaning that you’re unable to relax.
If any of the above seem familiar to you, make sure you’re aware of the symptoms of anxiety so you can work to minimise them if a triggering event occurs.
Here are some of the most common signs of anxiety to look out for:
Kooth are still available for children and young people over the Christmas holidays, but are offering slightly reduced chat hours around Christmas and New Year period, but their team are available to support you every day.
24th December (Christmas Eve) – 4pm – 8pm
25th December (Christmas Day) – 4pm – 8pm
26th December (Boxing Day) – 4pm – 8pm
31st December (New Years Eve) – 4pm – 8pm
1st January (New Years Day) – 4pm – 8pm
Other days over the holiday period will follow their usual live chat hours of 12pm – 10pm on weekdays and 6pm – 10pm on weekends.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not something you hear talked about enough. It is similar to depression, except it comes and goes in a seasonal pattern, with the symptoms usually being mainly present during the winter. These symptoms include low mood, a lack of energy, a loss of pleasure in activities you would normally enjoy, and feelings of irritability.
Here are some coping mechanisms that you can try to implement in your life:
Health Guide Publishing is an independent publishing house which delivers honest, reliable health and wellbeing messaging in a holistic way through three titles: Teen Health Guide (for 11-16 year olds), Student Health Guide (sixth form and college edition, for 16-18 year olds) and Student Health Guide (aimed at 18+ university students).
If you would like to have a look through these guides, take a look here.
Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted. Examples include:
Face-to-face bullying and cyberbullying can often happen alongside each other. But cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint – a record that can prove useful and provide evidence to help stop the abuse.
If you are worried about your safety or something that has happened to you online, you can seek help by calling the national helpline.
For more information and to see the top questions about cyberbullying, go to this link.
Event: Support for Young People Experiencing Anxiety or Stress this Winter
Where: Online Webinar
When: Thursday 14th December 2023 (6pm -7pm)
This session is designed for parents and carers and will provide the following:
Please complete this form in order to attend, and the link to join is also within that link.