Christmas is here and the holiday season has well and truly begun but, let’s face it, 2021 hasn’t exactly lived up to the hype. After a shocking 2020, we all need a bit of a lift but 2021 continued to deliver on the unpleasant surprises. From lockdowns, to Delta, to Omicron, and the continued separation from our friends and families, it’s no wonder that we might not all be in the festive spirit as 2021 comes to a close.
Christmas can also be one of the most difficult times of the year for a lot of people so, if you’re feeling a little low, it’s good to be reminded that Lifeline will remain open throughout the holiday season, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In fact, Christmas is the busiest time of the year for the service, and they are encouraging Australians to take time out to plan for how they will cope with challenges over the coming weeks and consider whether they – or someone they know – might need additional support.
Lifeline CEO Colin Seery has said that the high volume of people reaching out for help this time of year can reflect increased personal stressors in the community, such as heightened financial pressures, increased family conflict, loneliness and isolation or the grief of having lost a loved one.
“The holidays are not always a happy, jolly time – in fact, for many, this time of year can be challenging and heighten feelings of isolation or loneliness. Over the past two years, many of us have been coping, rather than thriving, and that is okay,” said Seery.
“Lifeline had record-breaking numbers of calls coming in throughout August and September, and the daily volumes remain elevated compared to what we have previously seen”.
“As we approach what we expect will be some of the busiest weeks in our history, we are preparing for daily peaks of 4,000 contacts across our 24/7 telephone crisis line, webchat and text services.”
“It is really important that no one feels they have to face this holiday season alone. Please, if you feel you need support, reach out to someone you know or call Lifeline. Our Crisis Supporters will continue to be available on our 13 11 14 phone service as well as our text and chat channels, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
“So, whether it’s 3am on Christmas Day, or 11pm New Year’s Eve, please know that Lifeline will be ready to listen and support you,” urges Seery.
To help people prepare for the challenging weeks ahead, Lifeline is also sharing a new, free Wellness Guide which outlines a series of simple and useful tips to help relieve the stress, disappointment and loneliness that the holiday season can bring.
These range from including periods of rest, relaxation and reflection as you prepare for the start of a new year, listening to what your body is telling you and setting realistic expectations for yourself and others.
“We hope this informative Wellness Guide will give you the tools and resources to look after yourself and those you love – and no matter where you are these holidays, please know Lifeline is here for you,” Seery said.
R U OK?
R U OK?, the mental health campaign encouraging Aussies to check in on their mates are also running a Christmas initiative to help those feeling low, or who have a loved one they are concerned about.
If you or someone you know might be feeling sad or alone this holiday period, their website is packed with useful information on how to check in with each other over Christmas.