Canberra Head to Health  is providing Canberrans with some helpful tips to help look after their mental health at Christmas time.

“There is no doubt the coming weeks bring much joy for people with Christmas, holidays and New Year celebrations. But for many people this can actually be a very difficult time of year, whether that be due to complicated family dynamics or missing loved ones, the pressures of work, or the extra financial burden that Christmas can bring,” said Think Mental Health Director and Clinical Psychologist, Jason McCrae.

“Above all, we recommend that people go easy on themselves and take some simple measures to care for their own mental health, and the mental health of others around them, at this busy time,” Jason continued.

“Some simple tips include taking time for yourself out of rushing around where possible. Stress can sometimes sneak up on you, so we really encourage some quiet ‘me time’ – a walk, more energetic physical activity, reading, listening to music, cooking or relaxing in whatever people find some comfort or happiness in. Pick what brings you joy and focus on that. Deep breathing promotes relaxation reduces stress and can also help alleviate anxiety too.

“As we head in to the new year, we find clients can become overly focused or overwhelmed with goal setting and new year’s resolutions. We’d encourage people to be flexible and forgiving, be kind to themselves and others,” Jason continued.

Jason McCrae and his multidisciplinary team of psychologists, mental health workers and social workers are part of Canberra’s mental health service, Canberra Head to Health. The Canberra Head to Health Centre provides free and accessible in-person mental health services to adults in the Canberra community, in a central city location and without an appointment or referral.

“For those needing the support, absolutely take it. We provide a safe and welcoming place for anyone who needs additional mental health support at this time of year.

“Importantly, support is also available online and over the phone, making it even easier for people to find support in what is already a very busy time of year,” Jason concluded.

Canberra Head to Health is located at 14 Childers St, Canberra City. No appointment or referral is required. For more information phone 1800 595 212 or visit www.canberraheadtohealth.com.au.

Canberra Head to Health will be closed for a short period 25-27 December 2023, and again 1 January 2024. For full opening hours visit the website or follow on social media. If you or a loved one require support during these times, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 crisis support, or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for sexual, family and domestic violence support.