Staying mental well these holidays


Tara Murray

While for most people the holidays are a time of celebrating or spending time with their families.

For others, including many Brimbank and Melton residents, the holidays bring out a lot of other feelings beside joy.

The Black Dog Institute has some tips for staying mentally well this holiday season.

-MAKE TIME TO CHAT. Connectedness and belonging are so important, and regular, simple, informal conversations are great ways to build these feelings. At this time of the year when you may be missing family or loved ones, this is especially important.

-TAKE YOUR CELEBRATIONS ONLINE. Enjoy your usual traditions with family and friends virtually if you can’t be together, or even invent some new ones!

-DONT’T GIVE YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS TOO MUCH POWER. Just because we’re thinking something doesn’t mean it’s true. We may not be able to control the thoughts that come to our minds, but we can control which ones we give energy to. If the thought doesn’t serve you, acknowledge it and then allow it to pass by much like a cloud in the sky or a car on a busy road.

-LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY. Although for some this is a time to celebrate, make sure to still get enough sleep and exercise, eat well, avoid smoking and the temptation to indulge in excessive alcohol over the festive season.

-TAKE A BREATH. If you feel overwhelmed, take a few slow, deep breaths to help you calm down. Try inhaling for two counts, exhaling for three counts and repeat a couple of times. If there are other things that help you relax, (e.g. a walk or listening to music) you could try these too.