By Opus EHR:
The holidays are a time of joy, celebration, family, and friends. But for many of us, the festive season can also be an incredibly stressful period. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that we prioritize mental health, especially during this season! This blog will share tips for practices that can help ensure positive psychological resilience in life transition periods like the holidays.
A 2022 survey from the National Alliance on Mental Illness reports 64% percent of people living with mental illness, and the holidays can worsen their conditions. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays, and 53 percent of people feel financially stressed by holiday spending.
Prioritizing mental well-being during the holiday season isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary! Taking care of your mental health should be a priority year-round, especially when many external stressors are involved, such as increased family obligations, busy schedules, and financial pressures. By maintaining healthy boundaries with loved ones and carving out dedicated moments each day just for yourself, chances are that you’ll find yourself better equipped to handle transition periods like the holiday season positively!
Here are some of the most common holiday suggestions to prevent and/or lessen holiday depression, anxiety, and stress and maintain good mental health during the holiday season. Remember that you always have a choice and options available to you. We wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season.
It’s important to maintain peace and harmony during these times. Remember that you can decide how much energy you want to put into certain conversations or engagements with people who might not understand your point of view or lifestyle choices. It is okay to stay true to yourself while still being respectful toward others!
Take Care of Your Physical Needs.
It’s easy to forget about our physical needs when we get wrapped up in holiday festivities and responsibilities. Still, we must ensure we take care of ourselves first and foremost! Eating healthy meals throughout the day is key; try not to skip meals or give into cravings just because you’re too busy running errands or traveling between locations on Christmas Day. Additionally, ensure you get enough rest each night, so your body has enough energy throughout the day – aim for at least 7-8 hours a night! Finally, build some activity into your daily routine if you can; exercise is a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind!
Make Time for Yourself.
With all the events happening around us during this season, it can be hard to find time for yourself amidst all the hustle and bustle – but we must make it happen! Taking even five minutes out of each day can help restore balance in our lives; use these moments however you’d like, whether reading a book or practicing deep breathing exercises, especially when many external stressors are involved.
Write a Gratitude List and Offer Thanks.
As we near the end of the year, it’s a good time to reflect on what you are grateful for, then thank those who have supported you. Gratitude has been shown to improve mental health. During all the negative circumstances, is there something or someone for whom you are grateful?
Not everyone in the family gets along; sometimes, there are personality conflicts. Family members may try guilt trips or push boundaries, and you may feel obligated to do things you don’t want to do. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Set boundaries with your family and communicate with them.
During the winter months, our activity levels slow down, and there are many opportunities to eat rich food and alcohol, which can lead to feelings of guilt and sharing. When you plan your holiday schedule, allow yourself the opportunities to be active.
Loneliness & Isolation.
Loneliness and isolation can be a concern for many people during the holidays. Pick up a winter hobby or join a group. This will give you planned interactions.
The holidays can be a reminder of the loss of a loved one. Acknowledge that this holiday season won’t be the same. This is an opportunity to create new traditions to keep your loved one’s memory alive.