Tackling New Year Stress and Depression

Help and advice at hand from the Samaritans

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New Year can be lonely, stressful or depressing for many. The Samaritans are on call 24/7 and have put together some tips to help get through this often difficult part of the year.

Looking after your emotional health

- Make time for yourself, to relax and do things you enjoy
- Have a healthy, balanced diet
- Get plenty of sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Spend time with friends and family
- Talk to other people about things which worry you
- Be aware of your strengths and things you find difficult
- Know the warning signs

The trick is to keep mind and body balanced. But life is full of ups and downs and coping with these isn’t easy. Even an event that many would say is positive, like starting a new school, moving house, having a baby or getting married, can be extremely stressful.

Improving emotional health is done through looking after yourself day to day, and through developing emotional skills, improving awareness, living in a supportive family or community and in a healthy environment.


Signs to look out for in others

If you’re worried about someone close to you, there are a number of signs
that you can watch out for.

These include someone:

1 Being withdrawn or unsociable

2 Being low-spirited or depressed

3 Drinking alcohol excessively or becoming dependent on drugs

4 Finding it difficult to relate to others

5 Taking less care of themselves

6 Acting out of character

7 Being tearful or constantly fighting back tears

8 Being excessively irritable

9 Finding it hard to concentrate

10 Feeling less energetic or particularly tired

11 Eating much less or much more than usual

12 Putting themselves down (self-mockingly as well as seriously), e.g. “Nobody loves me” or “I’m a waste of space”.


If you are worried about a friend, colleague or family member they may really appreciate you asking how they are. You don't have to be able to solve their problem, or even to completely understand it, but listening to what they have to say will at least let them know you care.


The benefits of talking


Talking openly about overwhelming feelings, without being judged, can be a huge relief and is often the first step in finding a way to cope. If someone feels unable to talk to friends or family, perhaps because they don’t want to be a burden, this is where Samaritans can help. Our trained
volunteers can individuals the time and space to explore their feelings in confidence and work out the way forward.

Samaritans is there to offer confidential, non-judgemental emotional support to anyone experiencing distress, you can contact us by phone on 08457 909090 email at jo@samaritans.org or face to face, visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

December 30th, 2009