Christmas Well-being! Thoughts, feelings and numbers to call.

Wishing everyone well this christmas

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Maybe because Christmas is *supposed* to be a happy family time is the reason it may be difficult for some, in fact for many!   Whilst some people may be in a position to really enjoy christmas and embrace it, some of us will struggle and others may simply put up with it.

Here are some ideas if it all gets too much !

Christmas is short-lived, it’s just one day or if you count the whole thing it’s a week at the most.   Putting things in perspective is a good idea if you feel any distress.  Remembering that feelings may be heightened during this time and that you’re likely to feel very different once christmas is over is helpful.

Taking a brisk walk and getting some exercise can often make people feel better and help to reduce negative thinking.

Use tricks to distract a troubled mind such as watching a christmas comedy, reading, knitting or doing a crossword. If your thoughts and feelings are escalating and you are struggling to manage them try focussing your mind by using techniques such as counting backwards or playing ‘I went to the shop – the alphabet game’ in your head.  I’ve been there and done it, in fact I think I played the alphabet game for an hour once!

Try to Identify or name your feelings and thought types as they arise and see if this works for you.  When you feel distressed name the feeling or thought,  for example: ‘Anger,’  ‘Sadness, ‘ ‘Loneliness, ‘  ‘catastrophic thinking,’  or ‘jumping to conclusions,’  this can help you to remain objective.

Try not to drink too much alcohol

Remember: It’s just a day, like any other day!

See what’s going on in nature – take a look at the world around you. The photo of the Robin makes me smile, sometimes nature can really help me put things into perspective!

Remember life isn’t perfect.

If you need to talk to someone and feel distressed there are many numbers you can call and people want to help!  The numbers are listed below.

TELEPHONE NUMBERS IF YOU NEED TO TALK !

Samaritans:  08457 909090 or email jo@samaritans.org

Dial House is somewhere you can visit if you can’t cope – Open Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Call to make an appointment 0113 260 9328 (Leeds)

Connect Helpline: 0808 800 12 12 Provides up to an hour of emotional support by telephone.  Open 6pm -10.30pm every night of the year. (Leeds)

Saneline: 0845 767 8000 1pm – 11pm Offering emotional support and information

NHS Direct; Health advice and information:  0845 4647

Thanks for reading, keep well and warm xx

If you have any  tips or ideas to keep well please leave a comment !

Thanks Vicky 😉

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Creative Space Cafe @ Swarthmore Education Centre – Wednesdays 3pm-5pm

Recently I painted a butterfly in an art project at Swarthmore Education Centre.  The project H(art) was run by Erica Mitchell who is the new Community Engagement Project Worker at Swarthmore.  It was Erica’s clever idea to paint jigsaw pieces which were then to be assembled together to create a giant heart-shaped jigsaw. The brief was that you could paint anything using the colours; red, white and black.

Take a look at this colourful and fun short film I made about the day. See if you can see my butterfly!

H(art) was a one-off event and was part of The Love Arts Festival but don’t panic as Erica also runs a weekly drop-in Creative Space Cafe.

 The Creative Space Café –  every Wednesday during term time from 3pm until 5pm.

 It is a weekly art and craft session which is held in the Swarthmore Coffee Shop. There is no cost and no need to book – just turn up and join in.

For more information please contact Erica at erica.mitchell@swarthmore.org.uk or just turn up!

Erica also mentioned that she is looking for volunteers to support the Creative Space Café. If you are interested in arts and crafts, and can offer help and guidance to other people during the craft session, contact Erica.

 Thanks Vicky 🙂

Swarthmore now offers ‘taster sessions’ with groups in community settings.  Taster sessions allow people to give-it-a-go without having to commit to a full course. Many people find that this increases their confidence to come down and see what Swarthmore has to offer. Contact Erica for more information whether you are an individual or community group.

There are many courses available at Swarthmore Education Centre, 0113 2432210.