Remember to manage your stress this Christmas

Christmas, and the holiday season as a whole, can cause raised levels of stress for some people, whether it's you or someone around you.

In some cases the stress is just feeling the pressure of getting everything done in time, whether you're hosting a party or just finding all the gifts and preparing for the travel to see loved ones.

Working long hours trying to get too much done at work before the holidays, or fulfilling too many social occasions for work, friends and family, can also raise your level of stress at this time of year.

For others it's the opposite cause; the feelings of loneliness that the season can bring on when everyone who is normally around you suddenly isn't there, or you experience the sadness caused by memories of a recently-lost loved one.

BeyondBlue encourage you to surround yourself with loved ones if you can, and to think of others you care about who may become lonely and invite them along too.

In addition to isolation, other causes of stress can result from financial pressures or the anxiety of previous family conflicts that could reoccur.

There are many ways people choose to cope with seasonal stress, and unfortunately not all of them actually help. Sadly some can be quite self-destructive.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation points out that "December is the busiest month for our paramedics, hospital staff and police when it comes to responding to incidents and assaults relating to alcohol intoxication."

It helps to be mindful of this before you drink too much, or turn to any substance for that matter.

Hosts can also do their best to create an environment that isn't encouraging anyone to drink too much.

Assistance: Christmas and the holidays can cause various forms of stress, anxiety or depression. It helps to know where to turn for help whether it's you or a loved one experiencing it. Photo: Shutterstock.

Assistance: Christmas and the holidays can cause various forms of stress, anxiety or depression. It helps to know where to turn for help whether it's you or a loved one experiencing it. Photo: Shutterstock.

Where to turn

Depending on the cause of your stress, or the vice you are most likely to turn to, there are various places you can look to for help.

Reach Out is a resource for young people and parents, and so if your stress is caused by family issues they have a number of online tools you can utilise. Visit au.reachout.com.

Lifeline isn't just there to save lives with their 24/7 crisis line - 13 11 14 - they too have a website containing helpful tips and information of where to seek help when experiencing emotions such as grief, loneliness or stress from various causes. Visit www.lifeline.org.au.

The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has information that may be useful to you, including ways you can offer support to a loved one. Visit adf.org.au.

BeyondBlue also offer 24/7 access to immediate assistance - 1300 22 4636 - and their own information resources, whether you need help yourself or you want to help a loved one. Visit www.beyondblue.org.au.