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Are you dreading Christmas this year?

Ballymena Today blogged a story this week about how Christmas is just around the corner. While lots of us get excited about the idea of the festive season, for others it is a difficult time. So instead of apologising for bringing up Christmas in October we want to give you some suggestions which could help you prepare for common problems which can set in at Christmas time.

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Christmas puts pressure on our bank accounts.

There is no doubt that Christmas costs money. Cards, presents, a new suit or dress for the Christmas party – costs can get out of control so easily. When you are already finding things tight it can easily get to be too much. If spending at Christmastime fills you with dread then click here and read about the services offer by CAP. They can help you to budget for the next few month and get to grips with your finances – the sooner you seek help the better.

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Whether you’re feeling the weight of debt, struggling to find work or just need a bit of help budgeting – we’re here to help you. We’re helping over 38,000 people a year through our free debt help, job clubs, release groups and CAP Money Courses.

If you would be interested in getting help through CAP in Ballymena please click here.

Christmas is a time when loneliness can become overwhelming.

Christmas cards, television programmes and the media can bombard us with images of the perfect family enjoying Christmas together. But we all know that life often isn’t like a fairytale and lots of people find Christmas a very lonely time. You could be mourning the loss of a loved one, miss family members who cannot be with you, or feeling the extra pressure of spending more time with family. Whatever is making you feel blue, or stressed you can call Samaritans confidentially on 028 2565 0000 for a chat. Christmas time is also is a good time to get out and head to an event that you usually wouldn’t go to, for example head out to a community carol service.

If you are feeling suicidal please find the courage to speak to someone about how you are feeling. Turning Point NI is an organisation in Ballymena who offer support and comfort on a 1:1 basis either on the telephone or through a walk-in service, to help people manage when in crisis. Call them on 07935255502 or visit their website here.

Christmas can take its toil on our health.

Once a tin of Quality Street is opened it is very hard to stop munching, especially when the television Christmas specials are on, and the weather is cold and wet. Wintertime is a time of the year when we can be tempted to overindulge and forget about keeping active. For some hints on how to stay active in Ballymena click here. If you start a new good habit, for example walking more or cycling, now then you are less likely to give up over Christmastime. It will also make it easier when you set out your healthy New Years Resolutions!

So we promise not to mention Christmas too much, but please share this advice with anyone who you think might be dreading this Christmas.