It could be the death of a loved one, being socially isolated, or we might just find the festive season particularly difficult.
steps2change, the county’s free NHS talking therapies service run by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has offered some advice.
Claire Hancox from steps2change, says: “We understand that the festive period can be particularly challenging for many people, with a rise in loneliness and common mental health problems in recent years. If you feel that anxiety or depression are holding you back from getting involved in activities and making connections, or think that talking therapies may help, please do refer to our service.
“Let’s all prioritise our wellbeing this Christmas and reach out to people who may be feeling lonely. Sometimes a friendly chat can make all the difference.”
Here’s five tips:
1. Get outside and do some physical exercise, even if it’s chilly!
Exercise will boost your mood, plus you are more likely to connect with others whilst you are out. Many communities even have friendly walking groups.
2. Taking up a new or previously loved hobby can also help us meet like-minded people and have some fun.
The common ground can be a great way to feel connected to others and start conversations. Setting small and achievable goals can be a useful motivator to get us back to doing things.
You can find out more about the activities and support services available in your local community by visiting the Connect to Support Lincolnshire website at https://lincolnshire.connecttosupport.org.
3. Many local churches are offering free sessions for people to connect and enjoy a warm drink or food. We also have the Night Light Cafes in Lincolnshire which are safe spaces offering out-of-hours, non-clinical mental health support. You can find out more about the activities and support services available in your local community by visiting the Connect to Support Lincolnshire website at www.lpft.nhs.uk/Night-Light-Cafes
4. Volunteering can also provide a way to meet with others and do something meaningful. It has been shown that by helping others, we can also experience a lift in our own mood. Visit www.lincolnshirecvs.org.uk for volunteering opportunities in Boston, East and South Lincolnshire, and www.voluntarycentreservices.org.uk for volunteering in Lincoln, North Kesteven and West Lindsey.
5. Finding online support groups or meetings can also help you to connect with others virtually. These were especially useful during ‘lockdown’ periods of the pandemic.
To refer to the service, visit www.steps2change.nhs.uk, call 0303 123 4000 or speak to your GP.
The Lincolnshire mental health helpline is open 24/7 over the festive period. Call today on 0800 001 4331.