The holiday season is almost upon us once more, time to reconnect and celebrate with family and friends. But for some, seeing family isn’t an option this year (thanks to Covid). And if you have a disability that makes it difficult to get out and about, this busy time of year can create a few extra stressors.

The secret may be less in the pudding and more in the planning. If you put some time aside to think about how Christmas is going to impact your life and how you want to spend it, you may be able to enjoy this festive period more.

We’ve put together our top tips to help you get the most out of the holiday season this year.

  1. Check Christmas open times for your local GP, pharmacy and any other services you rely on. Operating hours may change during the Christmas period.

  2. Contact service providers to find out how your supports will be impacted. Make a note of any changes to bookings, so you can amend your calendar. If your supports are disrupted over Christmas, consider temporarily replacing them with an activity that’s available. Mable Last Minute allows you to find support workers that are available within 4 to 48 hours. [When you need last-minute support for the holiday season, Mable is here for you]

  3. Share a calendar for your itinerary with family and support workers, so they know what’s on your agenda leading up to Christmas.

  4. Be real - It may be, you don’t have the energy for the kind of Christmas you celebrated before Covid. On the other hand, the desire to reconnect with family and friends could be stronger than ever. Christmas can create pressure to do things you’re not in the mood for. Give yourself a break by recognising how you’d like to spend this Christmas and stay true to yourself.

  5. Plan ahead - If you do want to spend Christmas with others, agree on times, preparations and locations so you can be organised about transport, access and what to bring for the day.

  6. Reach out - While Christmas is a time of joy for many, it can be a lonely time for others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to support workers, friends and people in your local community if this is the case. There are many events leading up to Christmas you can attend to feel a part of this special time.  

  7. Be tolerant – The silly season can bring out the best and worst in people. If people are testing your nerves, just try to breathe and let it go.

  8. Be kind to yourself – As the end of the year swings round, many of us feel tired and physically exhausted. Make sure you take time to do the things that re-energise you. You could even consider taking some respite care.

  9. Thank your carer - Sometimes, life passes by so quickly we forget to thank the people in our lives that do so much for us. If you have a carer or someone special in your life, make sure you let them know what they mean to you and how grateful you are for their support.

  10. Have a laugh - Christmas is about reconnecting and enjoying time with family, so have some fun. Wear a stupid hat or daggy Christmas jumper, play a board game and share the (often appalling) jokes from your Christmas crackers. They say laughter is the best medicine and a healthy way to lift spirits!

  11. Get joy from giving. These days, we often forget that Christmas is the season for giving. It doesn’t have to be about big donations and elaborate gifts, often it’s the smallest gifts that bring the greatest joy. It could be something you’ve made yourself, or even the gift of your time. When you give, it brings joy to others, which in turn is fulfilling for you.

  12. Treasure every moment – Christmas can be a difficult time, it’s not for everyone. However you choose to spend it, focus on the positive things and find some joy amongst the madness.

If you need support at any time please reach out to:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

Mental Health Emergency Response Line: 1300 555 788

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Men’s Line: 1300 789 978