The festive season can be a stressful and busy time of the year and can create added pressure on your mental health, finances, relationships and can affect your overall wellbeing.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, it also means that some families this year will not be able to spend the festive season together, which can further add pressure, especially if you were relying on the extra hands to help out.
With the help of the Carers WA Counsellors we have put together a list of tips and tricks on how to manage your wellbeing during Christmas this year:
- Keep a routine
Changing routines can be very disruptive to both you and the person you are caring for. At times like Christmas, naturally, there is going to be change to routines, to avoid added stress or anxiety, it is a good idea to set a plan for December. A simple calendar on the fridge with all activities put in one area for everyone to know what is happening day-to-day. Adding times into this calendar to get essential shopping done can also help you look after your wellbeing as well as looking for quiet shopping hours in your local area if that suits your situation.
- Keep Christmas wholesome
You do not need to spend lots of money to have a special Christmas. Making gifts, focusing on budgeting Christmas spending, or opting for a Secret Santa with friends and family are other options of gifting without the big price tag and financial stress. Decorating the house does not have to break the bank, have a look around op shops or discount stores for cheaper alternatives.
- Manage expectations
Being realistic about how much you can do during the Christmas season can save you stress later in the long run. This can be as simple as learning to say no rather than having to let people down or burning out when you have overloaded your time. Christmas does not have to be perfect; it should be the time of year where you focus on enjoying time with your loved ones. If you have any concerns or issues, address them before a situation arises can also help with stress levels.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Often as a carer, you can feel the weight of everything on your shoulders, reaching out for help is not a sign of failure or something you should feel bad about. Try reaching out to friends, family, or support services. Help could be as simple as asking a family member to care for your loved one for an hour for you to do a Christmas grocery shop or help could be finding respite care so that you can also have a break if you are feeling overwhelmed.
- Find time for self-care/me-time to promote positive wellbeing
It could be going for a walk in the morning, reading a book, having a long shower or bath, anything that gives you the time to reset and focus on you and only you. This could even mean staying connected to social groups or caring circles as there is a good chance the person you are reaching out to might be needing that connection too. Keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram pages for more self-care ideas.
- Maintain balance
Eating food that keeps you energised and getting enough sleep can set you up and is proven to help you cope with stress and anxiety.
Remember to enjoy yourself this Christmas and be grateful for those around you.
Services available during Christmas and New Year.
During the Christmas period, Carers WA and Carer Gateway services will continue to operate Monday to Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm, with reduced services during the public holidays (25th December, 28th December and 1st January).
For additional support during the Christmas period please contact one of the helpline specialists below which operate 24/7:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
Family Helpline: 1800 643 000
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Crisis Care Helpline: 1800 199 008
Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 007 339