5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health During the Holidays
The holidays are a special time of year mental health. They’re a time for spending time with friends and family, for eating delicious food, and for setting aside time for reflection and gratitude. They’re also a time when many of us experience stress and anxiety. The combination of social obligations, limited time, and the general busyness of the season can leave many of us feeling frazzled and overscheduled. Fortunately, by taking care of your mental health during the holidays, you not only decrease your chances of experiencing a full-blown depressive episode, you also increase the likelihood that you will enjoy and benefit from the holidays.
The key to managing your mental health during the holidays is to plan ahead. You can start by setting realistic but still ambitious goals for yourself. For example, you might decide that your goal is to spend time with at least one family member or friend every day. Likewise, you might set a goal of spending some time on self-care each day.
If you have a tendency to overcommit yourself when it comes to social obligations, take care of this early on in the season, before the bulk of holiday obligations arise. Set firm boundaries with people who are asking for your time, and tell them what you realistically have available to give them. This will help eliminate disappointment and resentment as well as freeing up space in your schedule for other things (including self-care!).
Try to instill gratitude
The holidays are often a time of reflection and gratitude. Take some time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. By keeping a gratitude journal, you can increase your levels of happiness and reduce feelings of loneliness.
Read More: 5 Ways to Improve Your Health at Waltz Fitness
Stress and anxiety are two of the most common ways people experience the negative effects of the holiday season. Your stress levels may be peaking during this time of year due to all the different commitments you have. There are a number of ways you can reduce your stress during the holidays. These include taking care of your physical health, practicing mindfulness, getting enough sleep at night, spending time with friends and family, practicing gratitude and setting boundaries for yourself.
Every day, we’re faced with a barrage of information and demands on our time. When we’re not able to meet those demands, we can feel stressed out or overwhelmed. One of the best ways to combat this is by exercising.
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve physical health, boost mood and even help us sleep better at night.
The reality is that many of us don’t have time during the holidays for anything more than a quick walk around the block or a few minutes at the gym. That’s fine! Simply squeezing in 10-20 minutes of exercise every day can make a big difference in how you feel while also lowering your risk for experiencing depression during the holiday season.
One of the most effective ways to manage your mental health over the holidays is to set boundaries. With so many obligations and so little time, it can be tempting to say yes to everything and everyone. But when you do this, you end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
The first step in setting boundaries is identifying what you need to feel mentally healthy. For example, are you someone who needs a lot of time alone or who struggles with anxiety? Do you need space from family members who trigger emotional reactions? If this sounds like you, then it’s important that you honor those needs by setting appropriate boundaries.
As difficult as it may be, don’t allow others’ expectations to dictate whether or not you get the balance and mental wellness that you deserve.
Get enough sleep
The first step to managing your mental health during the holidays is getting enough sleep. While it may seem counterintuitive, sleep is one of the best defenses we have against stress. Sleep helps reduce stress hormones and promotes a sense of well-being. When you don’t get enough sleep, all sorts of physical and emotional problems develop, making you more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
So how much sleep should you be getting? That depends on when you work out your average amount of sleep per night. Calculate your average number of hours slept per night and multiply that by the number of days in a week (including weekends). This will tell you how many hours you need to stay healthy. If you think this number looks daunting, it might be worth investing in a quality mattress or sleeping mask to help ensure a good night’s rest.
The holidays are a time of joy and celebration. But they can also be a time of stress, anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, don’t wait until the holiday season is over to get help. Seek out counseling services or a therapist to help you get through this season. And remember to take care of yourself and your mental health needs all year long.
Leave a Comment