Your guide to a balanced holiday season

News from St John - 13 Dec 2023

 As we gear up for the silly season, it’s essential to remember that amidst the holiday cheer, our mental health can be impacted.

From the extra demands on our time to financial strains and family dynamics, this time of year can amplify stress, loneliness, or feelings of overwhelm for many people.

We have put together a list of proactive measures that can significantly mitigate these impacts and ensure a more balanced and joyful holiday experience. 

We spoke to our trainer Rob to get some helpful tips on how to manage your mental health over festive season: 

 What can people do to care for their mental health over the Christmas period? 

 The most important thing that they take time for themselves, read a book, take a walk, do whatever the normally do to relax, this time of year, everyone’s in a rush, it’s important to take some you time and prioritise self-care.  self-care.  

Setting boundaries is crucial for preserving your mental health. Don’t hesitate to say ‘no’ to commitments that overwhelm you or cause undue stress.  

What brings you joy? Is it reading a book, going for a coffee with friends, cooking a healthy meal, or being outside, prioritise these activities.  

Why do we see a spike in Mental Health concerns over the Christmas holiday period? 

It’s common to see an increase in lows and highs over Christmas and into the start of the new year, there are so many emotions at play.  

Prior to Christmas people feel they ” have to buy gifts ” and feel like they need to travel, and spend money more money than normal, then post-Christmas the realisation that the bills come in and they the shock of the amount spent sends shock waves over the family.  

This then escalates the stress, anxiety, conflict within the family unit. 

 It’s ok to feel stress:

Recognising the potential stress triggers during this period is the first step towards managing them effectively.

Acknowledge the pressures that come with juggling various commitments, financial strains, and the emotional weight of family expectations.

By acknowledging these challenges, you empower yourself to take actionable steps towards a healthier mental state.

Seek support and connection:

If feelings of loneliness or stress become overwhelming, don’t hesitate to seek support. Connect with friends, family, or support groups, either in-person or virtually, to share your thoughts and feelings.  

Sometimes, a simple conversation or spending time with loved ones can be immensely comforting and uplifting.

Practice gratitude:

A mindset of gratitude and appreciating the small things in life can positively impact mental wellbeing. 

Acknowledge the small moments of joy, appreciate the people around you, and reflect on the positives that the year has brought, fostering a sense of contentment and peace.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, seek professional help or contact helplines for immediate support. 

Call Lifeline on 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636

St John Ambulance Queensland provides expert mental health training to gain the essential skills, knowledge and confidence to support your family, friends and colleagues through a mental health crisis and recognise changes in your own mental health behaviours.  

During the month of December, we are providing our First Aid for The Mind online micro-course for only $10 (rrp $25). Visit to book your course