Put Your Mental Health First This Holiday Season
The holidays fill the air with happiness and cheer, yet they can also carry stress and sadness for many people, especially those who deal with an underlying mental health condition. Here are some ways you can avoid or cope with the holiday blues.
- Manage your time
Write down your schedule for the day and stick to a plan. Choose a friend, family member, or therapist to hold you accountable to following through.
- Keep a journal
Even something as simple as keeping a journal or writing on a sticky note or notepad can help you reflect and see the patterns on days that you felt better. Then, you can use those tips for days that are harder.
- Limit alcohol use
Try to limit alcohol to holiday social events and no more than one to two drinks in one sitting. Or ditch the alcohol entirely and enjoy other holiday beverages like cider or hot chocolate.
- Schedule some fun after the holidays
Having something to look forward to is important, and this does not have to be an expensive outing. Even a day out with one or two people you care about can lift your mood.
- Watch what you are eating
Use smaller plates when possible and listen to your body. Eat until you are satisfied, not until you are stuffed.
- Donate your time
If you are feeling lonely, volunteering can also be a great way to connect with people who may share similar interests. Giving back to your community and to others in need can be a great way to do something positive.
- Limit your time on social media
Social media can be overwhelming at times—even more so around the holidays, when people have more free time on their hands. Limit your time on devices and spend time doing things you enjoy with people you care about.
- Set boundaries
Be comfortable with saying no to things, and to people that may cause you stress. Setting healthy boundaries with things, people, and family is even more important during the holiday season.