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

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

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino-Ucluelet region urges visitors to stay away for two weeks

The West Coast is pausing its winter tourist season temporarily due to rising COVID-19 numbers

Leah Davis, store manager at Oscar & Libby’s in downtown Victoria, sets out stock at their Fort Street location. The pandemic has changed the way this retailer and others do business, says owner Teri Hustins. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Pandemic alters holiday business strategies for Victoria merchants

Many independent merchants count on holiday shopping to get them through quiet periods

Victoria has ranked seventh in a report scoring tech talent in Canada. (Provided by Tim Teh)
Victoria ranks seventh in Canadian tech talent

Canada’s top tech markets were ‘largely unfazed by the pandemic,’ states report

The prevalence of crashes in intersections, like this one at Blanshard Street and Saanich Road, has Saanich’s mayor seeking more information on the effectiveness of red-light cameras in changing driver behaviour. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
More red-light cameras may be part of the future for Capital Region drivers

Saanich mayor wants CRD traffic safety commission to research effectiveness of intersection cameras

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

Island Health reported an exposure of COVID-19 at Sir James Douglas Elementary on Nov. 23. Those with high-risk exposures have been contacted directly, the health authority says. (Google maps)
Victoria elementary school added to list of COVID-19 exposures

Fairfield school is the capital region’s third school listed with an exposure this month

An aerial view of Zeballos. (Photo/A. Janisse)
Zeballos closes public service areas ahead of second wave

Library, landfill and village office closed until further notice, says mayor

Victoria police are warning people after two Victoria residents fell victim to financial scams on Nov. 18 and 19. (Black Press Media File photo)
VicPD issues warning after two Victoria residents scammed $3,500

In both cases, the fraudsters were posing as financial services employees

Emergency crews are on scene at a motor vehicle incident involving multiple vehicles at Bowen Road and Dufferin Crescent. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Two people hurt in multi-vehicle crash at Bowen and Dufferin in Nanaimo

Motor vehicle incident blocking a section of Bowen Road

A light display on Northumberland Avenue was recognized as one of the best in the city last year. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce photo)
Nanaimo’s Christmas light-up event renamed Illuminight

Judging will take place the evening of Dec. 13

Most Read