19 December 2017

With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, the holidays can bring stress and loneliness for many people.  Christmas can be challenging time for our stress levels, even for those without mental health problems.  It is important that individuals look after their mental health and those of their friends, families and neighbours during this time.

There are a number of things that you can do to look after your mental health over the holiday period: 

Get Help
Long standing psychological issues and patterns can come to a head over the festive season such as low mood, shyness, anger, phobias, interpersonal/relationship issues. If you want to take your first steps to explore these and learn strategies to understand and manage your feelings, you can contact one of our Talking Therapy and Wellbeing Services:

Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service: 01582 393144 or see here for more information
Luton Wellbeing Service: 01582 393 130 or go to their website
Newham Talking Therapies: 0208 475 8080 or go to their website
Richmond Wellbeing Service: 020 8548 5550 or go to their website 

Keep active – physical activity can benefit mental well beingPhysical activity releases endorphins which can help you to relax, feel happy and boost your mood. Whether you cycle into work or go for a lunch time walk, exercise can reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem. 

Get Involved 
The festive period provides us with an ideal opportunity to talk to, visit or engage with the people around us. Connect with others and combat isolation by engaging with friends and family, meet people at local community groups and/or organisations.

Food and Drink 
Many of us will overindulge during the festive period; where possible eat well and maintain a healthy and nutritious diet. Manage your consumption of alcohol and be careful to not exceed the recommended daily limit. 

Regular sleep pattern can improve mental and physical health. There is mounting evidence on the link between sleep and mental wellbeing, meaning improvements in the quality of your sleep could result in improvements to your overall mental health.

Take steps to manage stress, keep active, implement a regular sleep pattern and eat well. 


Getting help in a crisis out of hours
If you feel your mental health is deteriorating or if you are in distress and you need to contact a health professional out of office hours, you can call one of the numbers below for the borough you live in: 

For Bedfordshire - call 01234 315691
For City of London and Hackney - call 020 8432 8020  
For Luton - call 01582 538631
For Newham - call 020 7540 6782
For Tower Hamlets - call 020 3594 317

Getting help in an emergency
For urgent medical help or advice: Call 111, in the event on an emergency call 999

National Helplines: 
For confidential support and advice, there are confidential helplines that are available 24hr a day, 7 days a week. 

Lifeline: 0808 808 8000 / www.lifelinehelpline.info  
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90