At least one million Australians sought mental health support since COVID-19 began changing our lives. In Victoria, one of the most strickly controlled lockdowns was put in place to control infection. Enfornced isolation and other difficulties saw a surge in the use of mental health services, with a demand for services rising over 60 percent. The importance of looking after our mental health during this difficult time has been shown to be very important.
Even with eased restrictions on family and public gatherings, travel and holiday celebrations are likely to be smaller affairs.
Zoom and online meetings have become the norm in business and in the workplace. Virtual get-togethers have replaced many family occasions as well.
During the holiday season it is important to make these virtual get-togethers fun and meaningful. Cook and prepare meals together, open gifts at the same time and think of ways of making that online experience as meaningful as possible.
After such a longtime spent indoors and with fewer opportunities to spend time outside and meet with family and friends, making the most of holiday get-togethers is especially important.
Plan an outdoor excursion with family and friends. That way you will all get plenty of exercise and activity.
When spending time alone over the holidays, don’t let it turn into a repeat of self-isolation and risk depression. Make the most of the outdoors. Spend time doing your favourite outdoor hobbies or take up new outdoor hobbies. It’s easy to go hiking or walking or explore parklands and national parks. Even being open to new experiences like that helps avoid depression.