Carer Support Line 1300 554 660
7 Carer Coping Skills and Planning tips for the Festive Season web 2

Christmas is a challenging time for Carers, for many it can be overwhelming, stressful with mixed emotions such as anxiety, love and sadness. Some family members that you don’t often see until Christmas time may find it difficult to understand the complexities of a mental illness, which could lead to loved ones feeling rejected.

What’s important is that your loved one is reassured that their mental illness is not their fault, it’s not who they are and not a sign of personal weakness and, particularly in at this festive time to be themselves and have fun.

Talk to those friends and family who want to be understanding and compassionate and share the following with them, it will be useful for you too.

How to cope with difficult behaviour

  1. Don’t try to defend yourself
  2. It is better not to force decisions
  3. When responding, use “I” statements
  4. Acknowledge their experience as being real for them
  5. Be respectful and avoid confrontations
  6. When they are in pain, they may want to hurt others as much as they are hurting
  7. Try to discontinue the discussion without damaging the person’s self-esteem

Carers often respond to requests for help from the person they care for by instinctively and automatically trying to solve the problems themselves.

These solutions are usually quick fixes and temporary solutions and if we are honest, this may be exactly what you need to get through the festive period. However, be aware that this can stop your loved one from acting independently and postpone their need to deal with underlying issues.

Find out what is the predominant concern for the person and how you may be able to remedy this concern (e.g. removal of stressors; decreasing social isolation; having some downtime etc), emphasise that there is help available at this time and allow sufficient time to discuss the issue.

The way you cope helps towards reducing the negative impacts of stress. Your coping style is a combination of attitudes, behaviours, prior experiences and learning.

Do you put the needs of others ahead of your own wellbeing and feel the need to ‘fix’ the person you care for? Perhaps you are the type of carer that takes care of yourself as well as the person you care for.

There are two types of caring styles;

  1. Active – you try to actively alleviate their stress and work at controlling your loved one’s responses
  2. Avoidant – disconnecting from the situation and not directly addressing stress

Over the next few weeks, it’s really important that you try to work towards being an Active carer. This means;

  • Taking care of you, your mind, body and your spirit
  • Talking to someone about your concerns (call Arafmi anytime we’re open 24/7)
  • Recording your feelings in a journal
  • Doing an activity you enjoy, even if you only have an hour, go for a walk, read a book, call a friend…

7 Carer Coping Skills and Planning tips for the Festive Season_blog_web

7 ways to better equip yourself as a carer

  1. Inform yourself
  2. Formulate a plan of action
  3. Have some necessary phone numbers
  4. Take care of your physical, social and emotional wellbeing, exercise regularly
  5. Involve yourself in some hobbies
  6. Maintain a social life outside the home

So take a deep breath, we realise whilst Christmas is a time filled with love and laughter with families and friends past and present, it is also a difficult time for Carers and stressful. Please believe us when we say ‘you are not alone’ we are here to answer any questions or concerns that you have over this period.

If you have any questions about this article or need someone to talk to, you can call Arafmi any time of the day on 07 3254 1881. It’s comforting to know that when you need to talk – someone who understands will be there – at any hour.

Related Posts:

Untitled design
Carer Event

Arafmi Visits Charleville – May 2023

Arafmi Visits Charleville – 2023 Earlier in the year, Arafmi’s Carer Support Team were invited to Charleville to explore the possibility of developing another support group for mental health carers in the region. Our visit was jam packed with activities, so we were grateful for the support of a great guide and friend of Arafmi who works with vulnerable communities in Charleville, Irene F. Irene helped us to connect with a number of services there and enabled us attend other events, connect with the community, and learn a lot more about the mental health supports on offer in the area. For example, we attended a Reconciliation event hosted by the local First organisation CWAATSICH and participated in activities such as learning how to make Australian sandalwood smudge sticks for smoking ceremonies. Talking with residents there deepened our understanding of their connection to country and of their approach to mental health supports in the community. We also presented at a Biggest Morning Tea event run by the community group Healthy Aging on the outskirts of town at Red Lizard Camping Ground. Connecting with the elders of that community gave us a good history of the town’s development and icons like the

Read More »
staff conference 1
Arafmi Staff

Arafmi Staff Conference 2023

Arafmi Staff Conference 2023 On Thursday, 22 June Arafmi held the annual staff conference in the Marquee at Victoria Park in Herston. It was a beautiful, clear winter day and the venue provided a perfect spot for the meeting as well as lots of delicious food. Over 100 staff came together on the day to hear from a range of speakers. Irene Clelland, CEO opened the conference with an outline of where the organisation is and the achievements we have made. We also met our new Executive Manager – Systems & Advocacy, Katie Acheson who elaborated on her role in the exciting space of providing systems advocacy on behalf of mental health carers. Robert Bland who was instrumental in the beginning of Arafmi in Queensland spoke to our staff about the origins of our organisation and the great progress we continue to achieve. People & Culture Business Partner, Ross Mountford provided helpful sessions covering professional boundaries, resilience and the new HR program, Employment Hero. We were fortunate enough to have a mental health carer join Katie on stage for a Q&A where she shared her carer journey and how she came to find Arafmi. Simon Moore lead the next session

Read More »
Skip to content