19 December 2016

Christmas is a time to get together with friends and family but it can be busy and stressful for many. Whilst most are enjoying the festivities of the season, it can be a difficult time for others. There are a number of things that you can do look after your mental health over the holiday period: 

Try out these handy hints to help you get the best out of the festive period:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help 
Keep active – physical activity can benefit mental well being
Connect with others – combat isolation by engaging with friends and family, meet people at local community groups and/or organisations.  
Drink and eat sensibly- manage your consumption of alcohol and be careful to not exceed the recommended daily limit. Eat well and maintain a healthy and nutritious diet.
Sleep well –  a regular sleep pattern can improve mental and physical health
Relax – take steps to manage stress: Keep active, implement a regular sleep pattern and eat well.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kevin Cleary said, 

‘Christmas can be a sad time if you have faced difficult experiences or are anxious, feel down or can’t cope.  If issues come to the fore over the festive period, take the first step to address these and make an appointment to see your GP to start the New Year with a new approach.’ 

Getting help 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