Gateway Gazette

Taking Care during the Holidays – A message from Foothills Community Counselling

HIGH RIVER, AB: The holiday season can bring happiness and joy but it can also be a stressful, demanding, busy and difficult time of year for many people.

Staff from the Foothills Community Counselling Program encourage practical self-care strategies to ensure that the season is as enjoyable and manageable as possible.

“For a healthy self anytime, and especially during the holidays, pay attention to sleep and down time, nutrition and exercise,” says Toby Malloy, MSW, RSW and lead counsellor with Foothills Community Counselling. “Are you getting enough rest and practicing healthy eating habits? Exercise can include something as simple as a walk, some stargazing, yoga or light stretching, even an impromptu dance party to some seasonal tunes!”

Malloy also explains that social connections are important, particularly if the season is a difficult time due to feelings of isolation, financial stress, family difficulties, or the loss of a loved one.

“Feeling connected during the holidays might mean visiting with friends and family, volunteering in your community or attending events,” adds Malloy. “Balance is important too and sometimes that means we might need to pick and choose, and actually say no to some events and activities in order to say yes to some quiet time alone or with others.”

For those who enjoy time alone or with smaller groups, creating time for baking some cookies, reading a book, watching a movie or playing a board game are some options.

“Overall, take it easy on yourself and consider how you most want to spend your time this holiday season and what’s most important to you. This can help to simplify, prioritize and organize your yuletide plans,” says Malloy. “Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed.”

The Foothills Community Counselling Program is located in the Family and Community Support Services offices in the Charles Clark Medical Centre, #101 303 9 Avenue S.W. and can be reached by phone at 403-603-3549 or email at fcc@highriver.ca.

The following services are also available for High River residents:

  • Alberta Health Services Intake Line:                 1-877-652-4700
  • Distress Centre:                                                403-266-1605
  • Emergency Services:                                         911

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