Looking after yourself this Christmas
Christmas is just around the corner! After the year we’ve all had, it’s not surprising if you’re feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety about seeing family and friends for Christmas.
Although Australia has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, it’s wise to take some precautions while enjoying long-awaited Christmas celebrations.
To make sure you can have a safe, social and stress-free festive season, we’ve pulled together some tips and advice.
- One of the best ways to stay COVID-safe is to be as informed as you can about the latest health advice, community transmissions in your area and Public Health Orders issued by the Government. Watch your local news, read your community newspaper and talk to your friends and neighbours for the latest information. Exercise caution if you think you may be putting yourself – or other loved ones – at risk of contracting the virus.
- Some of the same advice provided last year is still relevant today. For instance, many experts recommend meeting outside or in areas with good ventilation as an effective and easy way to reduce the risk of transmission. It’s also good to keep guest numbers on the lower scale.
- If you’re concerned about being exposed to COVID-19, make sure family members and friends you intend to see are fully vaccinated. While vaccinated people can still contract COVID-19, the chance of transmission is reduced. Consider asking the people you plan to see take a COVID-19 test prior to the gathering, and to wear a mask in your presence.
- Remember, regular hand-washing or using hand sanitiser and maintaining distance from others are also effective ways to reduce transmission.
- If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious about Christmas or the year ahead, try to pinpoint what is causing you to worry and remember you can’t control everything. Meditation and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, are a good way to focus on the present.
- It’s important to realise that it’s okay to say ‘no’ if you’re not comfortable with the plans being made. Your family and friends will understand your concerns and respect your decision. You might be able to come to an alternative arrangement that suits everyone.
- Looking after yourself is key to getting through stressful periods. Stick to your routine, eat well, maintain your regular sleep patterns and exercise as you normally would. When you start to feel anxious, try to do something you enjoy to relax.
- Talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling. Voicing your concerns or worries is a good way to deal with anxiety. Having somebody listen to you will help you feel supported and cared for.
- If the anxiety you are feeling is getting worse or affecting your day-to-day activities, seek professional help.
Christmas is a time for love and happiness – look after yourself so you can enjoy this festive season safely with your family and friends.