Reducing stress of festive season

To reduce the stress and worry of Christmas, find time to do something that makes you feel good....
To reduce the stress and worry of Christmas, find time to do something that makes you feel good. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Many people will be looking forward to family, food and fun during the festive period, but for others this time of the year can be a season of stress.

After a very challenging year the ability to cope can be reduced.

Some people may face financial challenges and others may find being asked to participate in social functions causes anxiety.

A study commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation showed a quarter of New Zealanders had poor levels of mental and emotional wellbeing, including nearly a third of women.

Chief executive Shaun Robinson said the study provided an insight into the wellbeing of New Zealanders at the end of 2020, following nearly a year of living through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those who did not have good lifestyle habits to support wellbeing were heavily represented in the at-risk quarter of the population, while under-35s and Pasifika also had lower than average wellbeing scores.

“Good mental and emotional wellbeing is proven to be an asset for personal, whanau, community and work-related success," Mr Robinson said.

"If we are to recover from Covid-19 we cannot afford to ignore the signs that a significant portion of our population need support."

The foundation has the following advice to help reduce stress during the festive season.

 - Take a trip to see Christmas light displays across Dunedin.

 - Enjoy time in the kitchen creating your favourite seasonal treats.

 - Create your own Christmas cards and wrapping paper using recycled items including old cards, photos, magazine pages and fabric.

 - Spend time in nature enjoying the many gardens, parks, beaches and forests that Dunedin has to offer.

 - If you feel overwhelmed free call or text 1737 to connect to a trained counsellor or peer support worker.

— Visit mentalhealth.org.nz for further help and advice.

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