St Albans Christmas Lights Switch on
Sunday 26 November | 2pm – 6pm
Come and join The Counselling Foundation, we’ll be just one of many stalls at the St Albans Christmas Lights Switch On and Christmas Market launch. This event marks the official start of the Christmas shopping season.
At the Foundation we recognise the importance of looking after your mental health and wellbeing over the festive period and acknowledge that for many of us, it is far from ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’ Instead it can be filled with anxiety and depression and is often an isolating period of time for people with mental health problems.
Loneliness during the holidays is often associated with older people, but new research has revealed that millennials also struggle not only with isolation but stress and anxiety during what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year.
This event provides us with the perfect opportunity to talk to and engage with the people in our community. It is a fact that face-to-face communication and interaction has been shown to improve our mental and physical wellbeing .
We’ll be letting our communities know that we have 5 centres across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire where people can come and talk to us and find out more about our affordable counselling and professional counsellor training services.
Tips for looking after your mental health and those around you over Christmas:
- Reach out to loved ones who you haven’t spent much time with in the past year; ask how they’ve been and whether they have plans for the holidays.
- Caring for others is an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together and make you feel good
- If you’re struggling, remember it is important to talk about your feelings.
- Make sure you have time to switch off from work and relax – try not to check work emails unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Shopping online can save you even more money, as well as avoiding the stress and crowds of the Christmas shopping season.
- Try to limit alcohol consumption; alcohol is a depressant and drinking excessive amounts can cause low mood, irritability or potentially aggressive behaviour.
- Stay active – release those endorphins; go for a cycle, winter walk or ice skating. Being active, will help you to relax, feel happy, boost your mood and improve your self-esteem.
- Consider volunteering for a charity or local community organisation that can provide essential human contact.
- Use Christmas as an opportunity to re-connect with friends and family you haven’t heard from for a while; with a card, email or phone call.