5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

The end of the year is a joyous time for many, but for some people it can be difficult.

The holiday season can bring added pressures, such as travelling, busy schedules, financial strain, increased expectations and trigger sad memories. These demands can affect people’s well-being, especially for those dealing with loneliness, trauma, grief, mental illness or substance-use challenges.

This year, instead of worrying about finding the perfect gift, attending all the parties or pretending everything is perfect, the ministry for mental health and addictions is reminding British Columbians to make sure they make time to take care of yourself and put your well-being first.

The ministry has released five tips on self care through the holidays:

  1. Talk it out: Just because it’s the holidays does not mean you cannot be honest about how you are feeling. Sometimes talking to a loved one, a trusted friend or a health-care professional can make all the difference.
  2. Do not over-extend yourself: Prioritize your time so you can relax and enjoy the season with people you care about.
  3. Beware of overindulgence: Because alcohol is a depressant, having a few too many spirits can actually dampen your spirit. Also, too many treats can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Try to maintain your regular eating and sleeping habits as much as possible.
  4. Stay within budget: Finances can become a huge source of stress. Make yourself a budget for the season and stay within it.
  5. Practice stress-busting activities all year: By managing your wellness throughout the year through exercise, meditation, time with friends and family or other activities, you will have an easier time coping with the stressors the festive season can bring.

If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.

Other resources include: Canada Suicide Prevention Service at Toll free: 1-833-456-4566. You can also text 45645 or visit the online chat service at crisisservicescanada.ca.

Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance abuse.

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