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Keep it simple this Christmas

Keep it simple this Christmas

Christmas is a joyful time to be shared with others, but this time can also be an anxiety provoking one particularly for those who live with clinical or seasonal depression and anxiety.

Keep it simple this Christmas

As Steve Stokes, Program Director at South Pacific Private explains: “This time of year highlights all of the things that we perceive are missing from our lives. We are faced with a constant barrage of ‘happy and functional families and relationships’ in movies, media and all of the Christmas marketing.”

To combat the anxiety around this time of the year it’s important to focus on keeping it simple, tuning into your own needs and taking the stress out of situations you know can cause the most anxiety.

If you live with anxiety or depression consider following these tips from Steve to help you keep on track and ease the strain.

Simplifying Christmas:

  • Gifts – Don’t over-spend or over-commit.
  • Events – Where possible, avoid hosting. If you have to, don’t put pressure on yourself to be a master chef. Serve up finger food and ask guests to bring a plate too. There is no shame in asking for help from friends.
  • Decorations – Keep it simple. “Don’t get sucked in to lighting the house up like the Griswold’s!”
  • Meditate or practice mindfulness.
  • Keep a journal – Write what’s happening for you.
  • Exercise – Partake in daily light exercise and basic stretching. Get out in the morning, walk, breathe.
  • Focus on what you are grateful for today.

If you have a mental health concern, consult your G.P., therapist or psychiatrist and have a plan for this period. Consider how to cope, to replenish, and how to deal with a relapse or emergency.


If you need crisis support, call 24/7 Helpline Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or New Zealand Lifeline 0800 543 354



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