Coping with financial stress at Christmas
The festive season is a time of celebration, but for many Australian's the festivities also mean extra pressures, like buying gifts, attending many social gatherings, staying away from home and/or entertaining family and friends.
Holiday periods have been associated with higher levels of depression, and one study found that suicide rates increased on the days following holidays. Another reported a 40% increase in suicides in the days following Christmas. Stress and depression not only have the potential to ruin the festivities, they also have considerable negative health effects which may persist if ignored.
Everyday pressures such as work, relationships and finances, with which one individual copes, or even finds motivation from, can produce stress in some people.
Unless you recognise the symptoms and seek help and support, you, or someone you know, may miss out on much needed assistance.
With so much pressure to spend money in the festive season, it is little wonder that many Australians feel the financial pinch at this time of year. Trying to keep your head above water after your Christmas bills can lead to stress.
This could lead to you finding yourself unable to manage day-to-day life, and this stress will affect many or all aspects of your life. It may also lead to insomnia, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating on the most simple thing.
Coupled with great (and often unmet) expectations of what the festive season will bring, these pressure can build up and cause stress, which if ignored may lead to mental health disorders, particularly depression.
The festive season is a time when many fun and unusual activities can be undertaken for free. Make the most of the free entertainment - a night time walk to see the Christmas lights in the neighbourhood or to sing carols by candlelight is a cheap and enjoyable way for the entire family to pass a festive evening.
Contact Wesley Counselling Services if you or someone you know needs support and advice on financial planning. Regardless of your savings status, you will benefit from help in developing careful financial planning. Setting limits is important, Wesley counselling will help you set a realistic budget and stick to it.