Editorial: Take, give time to prevent mental health woes this season

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

While many wish joy to the world, others struggle to simply get through the holiday season with their mental health intact.

The season has a tendency to bring up sad memories, sparking depression and anxiety. Expectations to spend time with, sometimes fractured, families and to be in good cheer can also be stressful to many people. Financial worries also play their part.

But the truth is one in five Canadians experiences 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.

Rev. Michelle Slater runs a series of sessions at Oak Bay United Church leading up to Christmas aimed at centering both youth and adults in a hectic time.

Many find solace in the simple service designed for When Christmas is Tough.

“This is an opportunity the week before Christmas to catch your breath, to breathe in some peace, to remind yourself of what the mystery of Christmas really is for you and for the people you love and be more grounded. To really experience a joyful Christmas,” Slater says.

Some of us prefer even simpler, the bundled walk on the beach taking in the joy of other people’s (well behaved) dogs along Willows Beach.

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers a list of tips to help people get through the holiday season. They recommend steps such as 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 mental health issues are often not in a place, emotionally or mentally, where they are capable of carrying out these tips.

Think about taking the time now for both yourself and others to make the holidays comfortable for all. Ask what you can do for family and strangers, anyone having a hard time with the season.

Don’t forget to listen for the answer, sometimes it’s as simple as spending time.

Just Posted

Sooke Christmas hampers to be handed out Sunday

Over 400 hampers have already been prepared

Sooke Rotary Club raises money for Salvation Army

Donations will be collected until Dec. 24

Police wait on autopsy findings on human foot

Sooke RCMP are waiting for autopsy findings before determing if a human… Continue reading

Lost Victoria: Story of the Crystal Palace

Historian Stuart Stark launches book about iconic Oak Bay structure that was lost to flames

Victoria rental prices declining, according to national listing website

The median price of a one-bedroom suite dropped almost five per cent in December

Kind Kids Club hands crafts cards for Oak Bay Lodge residents

Additional funds raised go toward gifts for the pediatric wing at Victoria General Hospital

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Island entering the peak of flu season

Island Health says flu shots the best prevention against the virus

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Most Read