7 tips for coping with Christmas

Christmas is a characteristically tough time for many of us. To help combat this, we have made 7 top tips for coping with the festive period which link to The 5 Ways to Wellbeing. The 5 Ways to Wellbeing shows us that by building small actions into our daily lives it can make us feel good, and feeling good is an important part of being healthy.

If you would like to read our 7 tips for coping with Christmas, please click here.

An Advent Calendar to help you spread some kindness

The 5 Ways to Wellbeing also shows us that by connecting with others and giving to those around us it can not only improve their wellbeing but also our own. Action for Happiness are an organisation who every month create calendars which enable people to take part in one action every day to help spread kindness. They have recently released their ‘Do Good December’ calendar ready for the festive season which offers a great alternative to the usual advent calendars. Two of the Five Ways to Wellbeing are ‘connect’ and ‘give’, both of which you would be doing by taking part in the Do Good December calendar for kindness.

For more information on the calendar and to download it to get involved click here.

Get involved in activities in your local area during the festive period

There are some organisations across Sunderland an South Tyneside who are offering activities and sessions across the Christmas period. This is for those who may be spending the time alone or those who just want to get involved in their communities. Click here to visit our ‘Things To Do’ section to find out what is happening. However, please be mindful to contact the organisation directly who is running the session to ensure that it is definitely running before you attend.

If you need support there are organisations you can speak to

During the festive period a lot of organisations which are closed. However, during this time there are some organisations which are available if you feel that you would benefit from talking about how you are feeling.

If you need emotional support during the festive period then The Samaritans are a national Charity who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  They offer a confidential telephone emotional support and listening ear service. You can contact The Samaritans several ways and they have a freephone number you can reach them on. Click here to find out how to get in touch with them.

If you need immediate support across Christmas you can also contact the Initial Response Service who are also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for people who feel that they cannot keep themselves safe and need to speak with someone straight away. You can reach the Initial Reponse service on: 0303 123 1145 where you will be able to speak with someone.

Alternatively if you need immediate support you can visit your local Accident and Emergency department where you will be able to speak with someone and access support. Click here to visit our crisis pathway to see the full information on how you can access support if you are thinking of harming yourself or anyone else.

Find local support in the New Year

Over the Christmas/New Year period many local organisations are open at different hours than usual or are not open at all. After the New Year, when we are officially in 2019, organisations will start to open again and start getting back to business as usual and you will be able to contact them again.

So, if over the festive period, you notice your mental health and/or wellbeing starts to deteriorate and you think you would benefit from some support from a local organisation then why not visit our directory? You can search for services which offer support around what you need and location, there’s even a handy map so you can easily see where organisations are based.

A lot of services take self-referrals, meaning you can just call yourself, pass over your details and start accessing services. However some do need a GP referral meaning your GP will need to pass your details over to the organisation before you can access support. All organisations should have this information on their profile but if you have any questions, just call them or email them for more information.

It’s easy to feel as though you are stuck in a rut if you aren’t leaving the house very often and this can eventually affect your mental wellbeing and can lead to becoming socially isolated. A good way to combat this feeling is to start getting out and about more often, so why not make this your New Year’s resolution – ‘Try to get out of the house more and join new groups’. You can actually use our Things to Do section to find out what is going on in your area so it’s easy for you to find out about all of the organisations in the local area offer groups or activities which you can attend, from walking to crafts, drop-ins to pilates.