Christmas and New Year can be an extremely difficult time of the year for some in our community. The impact of COVID-19 this year will make the festive period especially difficult as some islanders have not been able to see family and friends in the UK and further afield.
If you, or a loved one, feels that your wellbeing has been affected please remember to look after yourself, talk to other people and, if needed, seek some support.
The States of Guernsey has dedicated webpages which include advice and support for those who are alone this Christmas and for those who are struggling. We have also published today a standalone document containing key contact details along with health pathways if people need additional support over the Christmas period.
We know that dates don’t make a difference when it comes to mental wellbeing, mental health issues, personal struggles, financial difficulties and other challenges. Regardless of the holidays, there is help and support available when you need it most.
Guernsey Mind has information on their website regarding their ‘Side by Side’ online community. This is a platform where you can listen, share and be heard.
Another useful resource is the NHS Every Mind Matters online resources. As well as lots of top tips and suggestion, they have an online questionnaire to ‘get your mind plan’. All you need to do is answer 5 quick questions to get a free plan to deal with stress and anxiety, improve your sleep, boost your mood and feel more in control.
Things to think about before the Christmas and New Year bank holidays.
If you receive help and support from our mental health services please make sure you know who to contact if your health professional is on leave during the next 2 weeks.
If you take medication for a mental health condition, please make sure you have enough or be aware that pharmacies may change their opening hours may change over the next 2 weeks (this also applies generally for anyone in the community who takes regular prescription medicines).
If you find yourself, or a member of your family is, acutely unwell you should, in the first instance, seek support from the staff on duty at the Emergency Department.
Put in place support plans with family and friends who are aware of the challenges you are facing. There is no shame in asking for help – whether it be from someone at the end of the phone who can listen or someone who can pop round with a hot meal when you can’t face shopping or cooking.
And finally, try and stay off social media. All those posts of people having the perfect Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties do not help anyone’s wellbeing. Remember, these posts are meaningless and generally staged. You do not have to mirror these people to have had a good time. What is important is spending time with your loved ones. Your presence is much more important than presents.