EDITORIAL: Take and give time to prevent mental health woes this season

Plan now, be realistic about holiday celebrations, no matter what they are

While this time of year brings a smile to the faces of many, others struggle to simply get through the holidays with their mental health intact.

The season has a tendency to bring up sad memories, sparking depression and anxiety. Meeting expectations to spend time with sometimes fractured families, and trying to maintain good cheer can be stressful, as can financial worries.

In fact one in five Canadians experience mental health issues at one point or another, meaning odds are someone sitting around your Christmas dinner table is struggling to some degree with the season.

A number of programs exist to help. For example, Rev. Michelle Slater runs a series of sessions at Oak Bay United Church leading up to Christmas, aimed at centring both youth and adults in a hectic time. She says it’s a chance to catch your breath, get grounded, breathe in some peace and remind yourself of what the mystery of Christmas really is for you and for the people you love.

Some of us prefer the simpler joys, such as a bundled walk overlooking the water, taking in the joy of other people’s (well behaved) dogs along Dallas Road.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers tips to help people get through the holiday season. They recommend planning ahead, staying within a budget, learning stress-busting skills and other strategies to approach the season with as much ease as possible.

Those with active mental health issues may not be in a place, emotionally or mentally, to carry out these actions.

We encourage you to take time now for yourself, but also to think about how others might be struggling with the holidays. Ask what you can do for family and strangers or anyone having a hard time with the season.

Don’t forget to listen for the answer – sometimes it’s as simple as taking the time to show that you care.

RELATED: Five ways to find help for yourself and the ones you love: Get help now at bc211.ca

mental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria sheriffs, local business deliver food to those struggling with mental health

More than $900 worth of groceries were delivered to members of the Connections Place Society

Swan Lake south wharf demolition complete, area remains off-limits

Sanctuary staff working to ‘re-naturalize’ the south end of the lake

New #yyjegghunt2020 joins the ranks of fun, social distancing activities in Greater Victoria

With hearts and lights illuminating windows and doorways across Greater Victoria as… Continue reading

COVID-19: Victoria hopes to provide financial relief through property taxes, utility bills

A number of city projects could be deferred in light of pandemic

Housing challenges in Canada complicate efforts to fight COVID-19

Five per cent of all households deemed ‘not suitable’ while other dwellers face other challenges

Mental Health: Planning for a crisis

Crisis planning lays out a blueprint in case hard times hit

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Most Read