If you’re feeling sad or lonely this holiday season — even if you’re surrounded by loved ones, have a lot planned and feel you have no reason to be — know that you’re not alone. The period around Christmas is the busiest time of the year for Lifeline, the free service available to those feeling down 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“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,” says Lifeline CEO Colin Seery.
“Over the past two years, many of us have been coping, rather than thriving, and that is okay. 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.”
This holiday season, the resource is preparing for daily peaks of 4,000 contacts across its telephone crisis line (13 11 14), webchat and text services. And while those services are, of course, available to you, if you aren’t in the mood for chatting and instead, are simply wanting a (natural) pick-me-up, here are 15 activities to try that’ll instantly make you feel that little bit better this holiday season.
Write Out What You’re Grateful for
Countless studies have shown the benefits to the mind that comes with practising gratitude.
Watch a Funny or Interesting Film
Make some popcorn and curl up to catch one of our picks for the best documentaries to come out of this year.
Send a Letter to Someone You Love, Someone in Need or Even Yourself
Consider Volunteering or Donate to a Charity
Here are some of our favourite charities to consider donating to, in lieu of getting physical Christmas gifts, this year.
Journal About How You’re Feeling
Simply Rest (and Don’t Feel Guilty for Doing So)
Make Yourself a Nice Meal
Play Some Uplifting Tunes
And maybe take the time to discover some new music, while you’re at it, too.
Remember This Feeling Won’t Last Forever
Make Yourself a Hot Drink
Plan Something Fun for the New Year
Get Cosy By Candlelight
It’s said that candles can reduce stress, as well as increase self-awareness.
Check-in on Friends as the Holidays Might Be Hard for Them, Too
Go Outside for a Walk
Do a Virtual Meditation Class
If you or anyone you know is struggling and needs support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, both of which provide trained counsellors you can talk with 24/7. You can also speak with someone confidentially at Headspace by calling 1800 650 890 or chat online here. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.