This time of year can be a difficult one for many people. The holiday period in Western Australia generally consists of celebrating with friends and family, taking time off work and general enjoyment and relaxation. If you are missing a loved one, or struggling with mental health issues of your own or of someone close to you, this time of year can exacerbate or bring such challenges into sharp focus. This is a time to take extra care of yourself and those around you. Amidst the busy-ness we can neglect our own self-care and yet this is a time that you need it most.
Stop for a minute and think. Are you doing something nice and nurturing for yourself every week? Remember that for positive mental health and wellbeing we want to aim to do four positive nourishing things for ourselves each week And if four seems too many then start with one! It can be as simple as a cup of tea with a friend; a walk along the beach; a 10 minute meditation; an exercise class – whatever makes you feel nourished and alive! Such small things to look after and value yourself can make such a difference to our buoyancy.
And if you do have someone that you are worried about, talk to them. If you would like some simple techniques on opening this conversation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If they do open up and talk to you about what is happening to them, your goal shouldn’t be to counsel them or come up with solutions for them (if it was that simple they would have figured it out for themselves already). Your goal is to connect with them, show compassion and empathy for their distress (even if you don’t understand it – the good news is that you don’t have to! You can still have compassion for their suffering), and then help them continue to wards getting some support and help. Asking them the following questions may help you with this:
- Does anyone else know how you’re feeling?
- Are you currently getting any support or help for this?
- Have you thought of what might be helpful for you?
- Is there anything that you can think of that I can do to help?
If they can’t think of anything, then maybe make some suggestions. You could help them to find generalist services and resources such as seeing a GP, or search for appropriate local services with them (if you need a list of services email me at email@example.com and I can send you one). If they do agree to go and see someone, it might help to offer to call and set up the appointment for them, or even to attend the appointment with them. This all depends on your relationship with the person and what is appropriate under the circumstances.
If they do not disclose anything and do not wish to have this conversation with you, then simply let them know that you are available in the future should they decide to talk. provide them with suggestions of where they can get other support if they do not want to discuss their situation with you.