Christmas is assumed to be a period of joy, generosity and family celebration, yet for an increasing number of West Australians the reality is far different.
Anglicare WA said the festive season can evoke and stimulate emotional trauma for people living with mental health issues or may simply be feeling lonely, isolated, grief or sadness.
Anglicare WA Mental Health Consultant, Katie Carter said if left untended, emotional trauma can compound and snowball into more complex issues.
However, Dr Carter said there are practical steps people can take to counter any negative triggers brought on by Christmas.
“Most important to remember is that all feelings are valid,” said Dr Carter.
“If you’re feeling lonely, sad or experiencing any negative feelings, leave space for this and practice acceptance.
“Connection is a resilience builder. As human beings we regulate ourselves in the company of others so reaching out to people who creative positive experiences with us is vital to wellbeing.
“Create your own traditions that infuse this time of year with new meaning, purpose and intention. Reclaim the joy, don’t be robbed of it. The trick is to find something that speaks to your unique self.
“Practice thankfulness by finding things in your day to be thankful and give voice to this feeling.
Dr Carter said make choices that enhance your wellbeing at this time of year.
“If you usually have a self-care routine, such as limiting time with certain family members or friends, or avoiding events involving alcohol, then feel confident to keep it going and say ‘no’ to others if you need.
“Remember that life has ups and downs and reaching out for help as needed speaks to the very heart of Christmas.”
For more information about support services available over the festive period, visit www.anglicarewa.org.au.
Media contact: Emma-Jane Morcombe, Anglicare WA Media and PR Coordinator,