Residents encouraged to reach out if they’re feeling stressed during the festive season

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Ellie de Paula and Robyn Eastwell

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Christmas often brings a range of emotions like happiness and joy, but it can also lead to feelings of stress or depression.

Darling Downs Health is reminding locals that it’s okay not to be okay during the festive season.

Worrying about finances, gifts, family gatherings or alcohol and drug use can be common, however it’s important to know when to reach out for help.

Ongoing stress might be a sign that it’s time to talk to a professional.

Senior Care Coordinator Robyn Eastwell said acknowledging your feelings and setting boundaries is key.

“For me personally, I think one of the hardest parts is working out where you’re going to be on Christmas Day and who you’re going to see.

“It’s okay to say no to attending breakfast, lunch and dinner at three different locations. Enjoy some downtime during the day.

“If you don’t want to drink, that’s okay too.

“If you’re feeling stressed you could get some fresh air, go for a walk or ring someone and have a chat.

“Remember you don’t have to be a people pleaser at this time of the year,” Ms Eastwell said.

At a time when people are often thinking about others, residents are being encouraged not to forget about their own mental health and wellbeing.

Peer Worker Ellie de Paula said eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep can go a long way.

“Make sure you look after yourself, and do things you like.

“I’d encourage people to seek help if they are struggling, because there are services available. Don’t be afraid of seeking help if you need to.

“There’s absolutely no shame in reaching out.

“Try to take some pressure off yourself by remembering that Christmas is only one day, and think about the things that bring joy; whatever that may be,” Ms de Paula said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can reach out to Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) for support.