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Mental Health First Aid Aotearoa Courses - Workstation setup promoting stress management and well-being.

Step into December with OneLessThing

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Hi, A sincere thank you from OneLessThing. As we bid farewell to 2024, we take pride in reflecting on the impactful work we have accomplished during this period. With a deep sense of honour, we have actively engaged in promoting MHFA across Aotearoa, positively impacting the lives of over 300 individuals. Supporting the journey of making a difference and the ambitious goal of training 100,000 Mental Health First Aiders within the next 10 years. The festive period can be a tough time of year for some people. From navigating difficult family situations to experiencing grief or loneliness, there are reasons why the period can impact mental health.

We have some tips on how to look after yourself and others.

Be kind to yourself this festive season

Talk about your feelings

Sharing how you feel about Christmas with someone you trust may help them understand how best to support you during this time.

Take time for yourself

Christmas can feel quite daunting with various demands and expectations. Remember to take a break from it and do something that restores you.

Be who you are

You might feel pressured to buy presents, cook or entertain but you don’t have to. Everyone has a right to be who they are and walk their own path.

If you’re experiencing loneliness and don’t know where to turn, think about some other activities you can focus on throughout the festive season.

  • Explore somewhere new or spend time outdoors. Changing your surroundings can be really refreshing. Going for a walk outside or taking up some exercise can really help lift our mood. Make it more enjoyable by listening to music, audiobooks, or podcasts.

  • Plan how you are going to spend your time. Structure can help us pass the time during difficult periods, especially if our regular daily routine is disrupted.

  • Connect with people. It could be a group of like-minded people, hobby related or a charitable cause such as helping out at a local soup kitchen.

  • Connect with others online. There are numerous online communities you can join such as hobby clubs, music enthusiasts, etc. You can also join Clic, Mental Health UK’s safe online community where you can share your thoughts and experiences and get mutual support from others who understand.

  • Find and explore something new. Taking on something new can be really enjoyable and rewarding, such as a new hobby, TV series, book, or anything else that might help lift your spirits and help pass the time.

Top tips for supporting others during this season



  • Let them know they’re not alone: and that you’re there to listen if they need you. Sometimes this might be all they need.

  • Understand that Christmas and the festive season mean different things to everyone. Their views may not align with yours, especially if they have experienced trauma or loss. It is important to respect and understand them.

  • Listen to what they say. It is important for everyone to feel heard and to have their feelings acknowledged.

  • Ask what you can do to support them. Everyone has different ways of coping, so ask them what would support them at this time.

  • Look after yourself. Supporting someone else can be difficult. You will experience a range of emotions yourself and it is okay to reach out for support yourself and share how this might be affecting you. Your wellbeing matters too.

  • Don’t make assumptions. It can be tempting to assume you know why the festive period is difficult for others, but none of us know how others really feel on the inside.

  • Don’t belittle or dismiss anyone’s feelings. Avoid saying statements like: “be happy,” “everyone else is enjoying themselves” or “Count yourself lucky, lots have it much worse.” However well intended you might be, you could invalidate the feelings of the other person and make them feel worse.

  • Don’t force people to take part in festive activities. You might think the person would eventually enjoy themselves but it’s important to respect their decision. Try not to take it personally if they don’t join in. There are many different reasons, including cultural and religious ones, why people might not take part.

Lastly and most importantly, I would like to wish you and your whanau a “Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.” Make a difference this festive season and save a life.

Check out my Loom and how you can support yourself this festive season.

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