Christmas is nearly here. For most people it is an opportunity to celebrate and enjoy time with family and friends. For others, Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year. It is a time of year that can bring up a significant amount of emotion which can become very overwhelming.
If you are struggling over Christmas then you are not alone. While it may feel like your world is falling apart, there are a number of other people experiencing the exact same as you are. Despite being called the most wonderful time of the year, many people struggle to cope with loneliness during Christmas and New Year. This can be caused by not being able to join celebrations, due to seperation, illness or being away from family and friends. For most, feeling lonely can lead to other negative emotions, such as helplessness, worthlessness, self-pity and bitterness.
To help combat this, R U OK? is encouraging us to create a ‘Christmas Check-In List ’, to remind us all to connect with colleagues, friends and loved ones who might be finding the holiday season particularly difficult.
The ask is simple:
1. Reflect on those in your world that have faced a challenging time
2. Add them to your Christmas Check In list
3. Connect with those on your list to let them know they’re not alone
The holiday period can be a challenging time for many and it’s important that as a community we recognise and support those who are finding this a difficult time of year. One positive thing we can all do is consider those who might be doing it tough, jot down their names and let them know they’re not alone. You can start your Christmas Check In list by reflecting on the year: who has lost a loved one, been acting differently, or just had challenging things going on in their life?
Do I know people who have moved away from home and are missing family and friends?
Is someone in poor health and struggling to get out and about?
Is someone struggling financially?
Is someone spending Christmas alone this year?
Once you’ve got your list, connect with those on it. Go for a walk, do some Christmas shopping together, make time for a cuppa – enjoy any connection that says, Hey, I know this time of year can be difficult, but you’re not alone through this,’ because that simple conversation can change a life.
Christmas can also trigger a multitude of deeper negative emotions for vulnerable people, if you are struggling and unable to see a way forward, you can contact any of the numbers below for help and assistance:
Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support
Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 for 24/7 for mental health advice and information
Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 for 24/7 mental health advice and information
Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 for 24/7 health advice and information
Suicide call back service on 1300659467 24/7 crisis support
In an emergency, people in need of immediate assistance should contact emergency services on triple zero (000).