Helping with a stress free Christmas

Posted on Fri, 30/11/2018

The festive season is a time for celebration but sometimes the stress and worry associated with the lead up to Christmas can spoil the occasion for everyone.

That’s why the Older Persons Mental Health Liaison Team at QE Gateshead has been supporting staff and visitors to hospital by offering support and advice on preparing for a “Stress free Christmas”.

For many people the build up to Christmas can be a worrying time with financial concerns, pressure to have the perfect day or family problems all causing concern. Many NHS staff are at work during the Christmas holidays which can also have an impact on mental health by missing out on family time or making preparations very difficult.

The team has had a special stand within the hospital that has been encouraging staff and visitors to share their tips and pledges for having a stress free Christmas.

They are also offering information on managing stress and anxiety, as well as practical steps to improve wellbeing such as making time to spend with loved ones, getting enough sleep or moderating alcohol intake.

Sarah Williams, a mental health liaison nurse at the hospital says: "We thought it would be really useful to do something in the run up to Christmas which is supposed to be a joyous time. It’s about recognising that it’s also a very stressful time for many people instead of being fun.

"We see more people in hospital at this time of year which can add to the stress and worry. There’s also the issue that many people – particularly older people – may be alone and lonely over Christmas.

"There are lots of stresses in the run up to Christmas so this is a good time to support people and signpost them to the best advice or charities who can offer more help. We’re also providing some practical advice for many of our staff in the NHS who work right throughout Christmas so often don’t have as much time to make preparations or buy presents."

Visitors to the stand also provided some of their own tips for a stress free Christmas including:

  • Ask for help if you need it. People will listen

  • Stick to your own beliefs

  • Concentrate on what’s more important

  • Don’t leave shopping until the last minute

  • Don’t overspend

  • Have plenty of batteries

  • Spend more time with each other and have fun


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