Got a financially stressed friend? Here's how you can support their mental health this Christmas

Updated 19/12/2022
Got a financially stressed friend? Here's how you can support their mental health this Christmas

Christmas can be a hard time on everyone but support is out there for us.

Time to read : 4 Minutes

Feeling lonely this Christmas?

Still experiencing some form of burnout from the months of lockdowns, separations, homeschooling and isolation?

💸 Did you know that mental and financial health are closely linked? And when one falls over the other tends to as well.

🧑🏽‍🎄 Having less money can also affect your ability to join in festive season and buy gifts – two in five of us have decided not to buy anyone anything at all this year.

🔍With this in mind, we thought we’d take a moment to check in and offer some pathways for support in case this doesn’t happen to be the most wonderful time of year for you.

Signs of anxiety or depression

Although symptoms can manifest in a range of ways, some common changes in your behaviour to look out for include:

  1. Interrupted sleep or insomnia.

  2. Feeling sad or low.

  3. Comparing yourself to others in an unhealthy way.

  4. Excessive drinking or eating.

  5. Numbness.

  6. Irritation.

Ways to connect 

Family tensions, lack of relationships, financial stress or loss can be exacerbated around Christmas time.

Despite a strong urge to withdraw further at this time of year and in response to those feelings, experts say it's more important than ever to reach out. 

🫖 Plan a get together with loved ones. It doesn’t have to be a swish affair — a casual cup of tea is sometimes better than a black tie party. 

🎄Plan a “friends” Christmas. They say blood is thicker than water, but it’s important to consider what makes you happy — which relationships are your most positive ones? — and move towards them. 

📱Video chat with friends and family who live overseas.

🎁 Send thoughtful gifts or homemade items to people you love. 

Volunteering can also help you keep busy and do good at the same time.

Where to find support

If family and friends aren’t an option for you, there are a range of support networks which can help you connect with others or attend gatherings in your local area.

There are also FREE helplines with real people who can simply listen if you want to unload

  • The Salvation Army provides gifts, hampers, meals and accommodation to support individuals and families during the Christmas period. 

  • Mission Australia works to alleviate homelessness and provide mental health services, often ramping up support around Christmas.   

  • Wayside Chapel hosts free community lunches in the period leading up to Christmas day for anyone experiencing homelessness or social isolation. 

☎️ And, if you just need an open mind and kind ear to listen, please contact one of the organisations below. 

Lifeline: 13 11 14.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.

SuicideLine: 1300 651 251.

The bottom line

The cost of Christmas can be very stressful – so be kind to yourself.

Exercise, eating healthy and keeping up a good sleep routine are all recommended to help you deal with anxiety and stress.

And remember, it's okay to not feel okay and it's an important step to acknowledge it.

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The information contained on this web page is of general nature only and has been prepared without taking into consideration your objectives, needs and financial situation. You should check with a financial professional before making any decisions. Any opinions expressed within an article are those of the author and do not specifically reflect the views of Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd.