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

Just Posted

Victoria Police investigate stabbing in restaurant on Douglas Street

Police were called to the 800-block around 1:30 p.m.

‘Fix Canada First’ posters found at Victoria bus stops

At least five posters found along Douglas Street

Oak Bay teen targets 1,000 toys

Toy drive for Stan Hagen Centre For Families is Dec. 15 and 16 on Oak Bay Avenue

Saanich residents deliver notice to Capital Regional District

Grange Road residents fear the loss of up to 50 trees

Council approves plan banning cycling in Haro Woods

Municipality accused of caving to small minority of park users

WATCH: Hundreds of gifts go out to Victoria’s Our Place patrons

The Angel Gifts Program saw 700 Christmas presents go out to the community

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Vancouver Island man named Philadelphia Flyers assistant GM

Courtenay’s Brent Flahr spent nine-plus years in Minnesota

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

Oil tanker ban to be reviewed by committee

Indigenous groups for and against Bill C-48 travel to Ottawa to influence the Senate’s decision

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Most Read