Wellbeing at Christmas

Director of Wellbeing, Strategy & Collaboration, Michael Fullerton advises on how to look after ourselves and support others at this busy and less structured time of year

Christmas is coming and this whole festive period, including New Year celebrations, brings great joy and time spent with family and friends. A caution is that some people may find this time of year stressful, overwhelming and indeed may feel lonely and isolated.

So while we prepare for the celebrations, let’s all bear in mind aspects of the season and social contacts that we find personally difficult. It is important we look after ourselves and remind ourselves of our best coping strategies. We need to be mindful that in order to support others we must be coping well ourselves.

For people we support, they, their support teams and families are busily preparing, and we see that daily through our internal communications app. It is so lovely to see the excitement building. Equally, some people may find the anticipation stressful and will find the lack of structure over the festive period a struggle. Some people could find this period particularly lonely or even painful if there are negative memories of Christmas/New Year.

Our support teams are considering all this while preparing celebrations. They are talking to people they support about how best they want to be supported. Where required they are considering what structure can be put into place, if that is what someone needs and wants when their usual structure is not available to them. It is critical to plan ahead, to avoid ad hoc planning and thinking on the spot when a person is not coping well.

Studio III has recorded an hour-long free webinar, focused on ‘Stress reduction strategies for the holidays’-  Free Webinars | Studio 3 Crisis Management. Team members are listening to this together to agree plans to support each other and people we support. They are also using relevant tips from the links below to understand and plan for people’s preferences.

With this advance planning, everyone is more likely to enjoy quality time over the festive period.

Take care of yourself, appreciate and enjoy special moments with others, have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

Michael

Christmas and mental health – Mind

Festive top tips from autistic young people | Ambitious about Autism

Preparing for Christmas: autism resources

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