Many people experience common mental health problems at some point in their lives, such as depression, stress and anxiety. These problems can develop easily and make it harder to cope with everyday demands. During the festive season, these demands can take their toll on people and affect their mental health and wellbeing. Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Minds Matter team, previously known as the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service, provide a range of services to help people when they find things get too much, ranging from stress control workshops to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This year, the team have put together some hints and tips to reduce stress to help people have a fun-filled season.
Emma Nazurally, Service Manager for Minds Matter said:
“This time of year is a great time to catch up with family and friends and really get into the festive cheer. However, it’s important to remember that it can also bring with it stressful occasions, such as deciding who to visit and what to buy for people. This in turn can raise concerns relating to finances and this time of year can be increasingly difficult for people feeling lonely. If anyone is feeling low it is important they don’t suffer in silence and visit their GP to seek advice or they can call our team for support.”
The IAPT service’s Top Ten Tips for a stress-free festive season are:
1. Planning ahead in the lead up to the festivities can help to organise your thoughts.
• Know who is getting which gift.
• Sharing your calendar or diary with your immediate family will make sure there aren’t any clashes.
2. Christmas is now less about the gift of giving, and more the season of over indulgence.
• Try not to stray away from a balanced diet too much.
• Sugary foods can impact on changes to blood sugar levels and affect your mood and energy levels.
3. Keeping up your activity levels supports a positive mindset.
• Try something new, such as ice skating, or catch up with friends by going on a walk somewhere local. This will release feel-good endorphins.
4. Watching your alcohol intake at social occasions can help keep you in a positive mindset.
• Alcohol is a depressant.
• Alcohol can lead to irritability, low mood, disturbed sleep and sometimes aggression and violent behaviour.
5. Remember that Christmas is a social event, and can be very lonely for some people.
• Make an extra special effort to spend time with acquaintances and loved ones alike.
• Doing good deeds also makes you feel better, and can give you the little boost you may need to keep a positive mindset.
6. Large parties and social occasions can often be stressful for the host and leave others feeling uncomfortable.
• Christmas doesn’t have to be over in a day, so take your time to see loved ones, in a way you feel most appropriate.
7. Whilst you may be running around trying to make Christmas perfect for everyone else, take some time for yourself. Does the thought of cooking Christmas dinner fill you with fear?
• There’s no shame in taking a shortcut, so book a restaurant for dinner, or check out the freezer department in your local supermarket.
8. Prioritising your worries can help you tackle them one at a time.
• Rather than keeping things in your head, write all your worries down on a piece of paper. Seeing everything in black and white can help make coming to a solution much easier.
9. Don’t skimp on your sleep. You might have a million and one things to do, but staying up late into the night will not help your productivity levels and you could find you have to do jobs twice over.
• Plan and use your time effectively.
• Get a good night’s rest. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle any problems that may come your way.
10. Relax and stay positive. Enjoy yourself and relish the festivities. Christmas comes but once a year!
To find out more about wellbeing support in Lancashire, please contact your local Minds Matter team:
• Hyndburn: 01254 226 007
• Ribble Valley: 01200 420 499
• Burnley: 01282 657230
• Pendle: 01282 657927
• Rossendale: 01282 657792
• Blackburn with Darwen: 01254 226037
• Chorley and South Ribble: 01772 644519
• Preston: 01772 773437
• West Lancs: 01695 588254
• Fylde and Wyre: 01253 955943
• Lancaster and Morecambe: 01524 550552
For anyone feeling low or in distress, the Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline provides a listening ear and confidential support for those who want someone to talk to. The helpline will be open every day from 7pm-11pm throughout Christmas and New Year and can be contacted on Freephone 0300 222 5931, and calls will not be charged whether they are made from a landline or mobile phone. Normal opening hours will then be resumed in the New Year, which are 7pm-11pm Monday to Friday and 12noon-12midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.
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- Quit Squad here to help you all year round!
- Lancashire Hair get involved in Movember!
- School Nurses needed!
- Oct 2015 >
- Smoking Banned in Cars
- Get to Goa
- Self-Help for Self-Injury resource receives national recognition
- Stop Smoking with the support of a celebrity!
- 'This is me' Dementia tool launched in Lancashire
- PNE players supporting public Dementia event!
- Celebrity 'Lock In' for Students in Lancashire
- Improving Patient and Public Involvement is Key!
- Circles of support for people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Helpline available for students
- Goal Difference
- World Suicide Prevention Day 2015
- Sexual Health Awareness Week 2015
- Sign up for Dryathlon today!
- Leyland Health Mela 2015
- Lancashire Care appoints new member to its Trust Board
- World Alzheimer's Month
- Children & parents reminded to 'Stop, Look and Listen!'
- Adolescent Inpatient Unit is Accredited with Excellence!
- Mindsmatter in St Helens 2015
- Health workers recognised as Care Makers
- Trust Recruiting New Chair
- Contract Win for Lancashire Care
- We Need You!
- Pastels Artwork Put On Display
- Teenage Pregnancy at an all-time low in Burnley!
- SilverCloud launch to help ease low mood
- Swap the Sugar this Summer
- Quit Squad on hand to help
- Be Involved!
- Staying Active during the summer break
- World Hepatitis Day
- A day at Downing Street
- Team awarded national accreditation
- Quit Squad here to help during Ramadan
- Be Clear on Cancer
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- Research Nurses hold national dementia research conference
- Dogs for the Disabled
- Chief Executive becomes the first Macmillan Alumni Patron
- Jun 2015 >
- May 2015 >
- Take a Google Tour at The Harbour
- Over 50 years' NHS service
- Goal Difference!
- Don't suffer in silence
- Lancashire Care awarded contract for Liverpool prisons
- No need to lose Sleepio!
- Preston Health Mela
- The Big Bowel Roadshow is coming to town
- Staff Awards Celebrations 2015
- Increased healthcare support at police stations and courts
- Mar 2015 >
- Eating Disorder Awareness Week
- New laws will make it illegal to smoke in private vehicles carrying children
- Successful Open Day at The Harbour
- Last chance to vote for the winner of the People's Choice Award!
- Launch of new talking therapies service for Lancashire
- The Harbour Open Day
- Quit Squad on hand to help smokers
- Local Nurse set to help out in Africa
- Lancashire Care supports the "Hello my name is..." campaign
- Vote for the winner of the People's Choice Award!
- Jan 2015 >
- Stay safe during party season!
- Top Tips for a Stress Free Festive Season
- Top Tips for a Stress Free Festive Season!
- Stay safe during party season
- A helping hand for parents
- A listening ear during the festive period
- The Harbour Key Ceremony - December 2014
- HIV Awareness
- Eating Disorder Services
- The Harbour is Recruiting!
- Mouth Cancer Action Month
- The Harbour Key Ceremony
- Lancashire diabetes course receives award after engaging ethnic communities
- Lancashire leads North West Stoptober sign-up
- Success at the Positive Practice Awards
- Stress Awareness Day
- Alcohol Awareness Week
- World Diabetes Day
- Nursing Times Awards 2014 Winners
- Contact Centre Hero
- Children's Mental Health Taskforce
- People's Choice Award
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- Innovative new flu vaccine comes to Lancashire
- World Mental Health Day
- Community Cafe set to open at The Harbour
- People's Choice Award October 2014
- Schools encouraged to sign up to support breastfeeding
- Hypo Awareness Week
- Wellbeing and Mental Health Helpline
- PLACE Assessments Success
- Sept 2014 >
- Aug 2014 >
- Jul 2014 >
- Jun 2014 >
- World No Tobacco Day
- New support group for local mums
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Support 2014
- Dementia talk at national conference
- Lancashire team lead the way in dementia research
- Lancashire team lead the way in dementia research - Dr Salman Karim
- Be Mindful
- Hear us Roar!
- Children and Families Team Wins National Award!
- Fylde and Wyre ' working together to support people with dementia
- 'You can do it!'
- Apr 2014 >
- Positive practice in mental health
- Opportunity for a local business
- Mental health helpline needs your help!
- Planting the seed for change
- Helpline for East Lancashire residents
- Watch the salt
- Parents receive NHS Excellence in Participation Award!
- Stop smoking service working to lead smokers to victory
- Free weight management programme
- New Chief Operating Officer Appointed
- 'Topping Out' at The Harbour
- System set to improve care
- Feb 2014 >
- Jan 2014 >
- Apr 2013 >
Top Tips for a Stress Free Festive Season!
Posted on the 23rd December 2014