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

Two Port Alberni cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Leaf Compassion and Cannabis Club ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

UPDATE: Tent city campers told to leave Oak Bay, given outstanding bill

Police department delivers $1,882 bill for damages from fall of 2017

Shots fired at home in targeted incident in Nanaimo

Shots were fired at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday in 500 block of Kennedy Street, say RCMP

Advance poll turnout way up for Saturday’s election

Interest in voting early evident across Vancouver Island

Ucluelet fears orca protection could shut down fisheries

“I beg you to start a process to put a stick in the wheels and slow these people down.”

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Nanaimo RCMP warn public after nine-year-old girl approached by motorist

Incident happened Wednesday morning near Park Avenue School

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Most Read