Lifeline Mid Coast says it is preparing to field an increase in calls from people looking for help and support during the Christmas period.
The increase is likely to follow a 24 per cent increase in calls during 2020, specifically relating to COVID-19 concerns.
Lifeline Mid Coast manager crisis support team and trainer Di Bannister says Christmas is a peak time for increased stress levels.
"Lifeline is very aware of the extra stresses relating to this time of the year," she said.
"Christmas, generally, is seen as this happy gathering time for families.
"Advertising often features people sitting around a table laden with Christmas food.
"However, what we don't see is the stresses that money troubles or relationships can have on us.
"But they are certainly exacerbated through the Christmas period.
"Our psyche seems to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We want to measure our achievements from throughout the year at this time.
"These are the areas that we don't recognise enough. We tend to react to these internal pressures and because we don't verbalise it enough they never get resolved."
By placing monetary concerns, health issues or mental illness on top of these existing pressures, Christmas becomes a more difficult time to navigate.
Can you match the TV family sitting at the big table of food? Or should you pack up the family and head to the beach?Di Bannister
Lifeline is prepared and ready to discuss these situations at this critical time of the year, Mrs Bannister said.
Through research, Lifeline Mid Coast has developed some simple strategies to help people.
"Firstly, just acknowledge what you can achieve in your particular circumstance," she said.
"Can you match the TV family sitting at the big table of food? Or should you pack up the family and head to the beach?
"Look at your own family and don't buy into the TV family comparisons.
"Give yourself a break. Have a rest when you need it and always remember this is a very busy time of the year.
"To overcome the pressures of finances, think about presents that don't have a financial value to them."
Mrs Bannister says these strategies could fit any family situation.
As well, we need to consider that Christmas may also include, school holidays or visits from family that you may not necessarily see on a regular basis.
"Mixed with these stresses it can be hot and humid weather conditions which really zap our energy.
"It is important that you give yourself some leeway and understand and appreciate that you may need to take a rest."
Mrs Bannister says Lifeline Mid Coast is more than wiling and capable of helping any caller.
"You don't have to go through this alone," she added.
Lifeline Mid Coast operates a 24 hour telephone service on 13 11 14, provides a chatline 7pm - midnight and a text line 6 pm - midnight - 0477 13 11 14.
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