Few things fill the heart like the knowledge that someone else cares about how you’re feeling and doing. But many of us feel our stress and anxiety intensify during the holiday season. Some of us have experienced loss that is magnified this time of year, or we come to this season exhausted or dreading the busyness ahead.

During this often pressure-filled time, how can we guard our own mental health, while looking out for others?

Here are five suggestions:

  1. Get your steps in. While exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing, just 15 minutes of aerobic exercise is said to have a profound effect on your mood.
  2. Find the right support. 211 is the Government of Canada’s 24/7 hotline that provides free access to a mental-health professional. It can also connect you with resources in your community.
  3. Confide in someone. Trust a friend, neighbour, co-worker or family member with how you’re doing. Let them know you would welcome an invite for coffee or a chat on Zoom, on the phone or in person.
  4. Help others. Doing something for others in need can help us feel like we’re making a purposeful difference – especially when it comes to children. The World Vision gift catalogue is a way to help provide children struggling in conflict zones or due to climate disasters with access to safe spaces, psychosocial support and other resources to support their mental health.
  5. Lean into gratitude. Even in the darkest times, we can find things and people to be thankful for that help us keep going. Bringing loved ones together and thanking them for kind gestures can improve the mental health and well-being of everyone.

Find more information about the gift catalogue at worldvision.ca/give.