Mental Health During the Holidays

For some the holiday season is a time of year for social activities, holiday shopping, and quality time with loved ones.  For others it can be a time a remembering loved one’s whom have passed away.   For others it is a time of quiet and peacefulness.  No matter who or where you are this is another year and COVID-19 continues to make all the above-mentioned mentioned activities more challenging. Keeping up with all the changing health protocols, holiday activities, staying positive and safely socializing for over 22 months can be overwhelming.

1 in 5 of us live with mental health illnesses/injuries including addictions. These illnesses and injuries may make a complicated holiday season even more difficult time. Whether or not it is you or someone you know who is living with a mental health challenge, everyone can take steps to prepare for the holidays and prioritize their mental wellness in the coming weeks. 

Check out our past mental health webinar HERE

Use the following tips to be a Mental Wellness Warrior:

  1. Manage your expectations 

Remember that this year is once again different and may not feel like the holiday season you are used to. Whether you are sharing a meal over Zoom or sending well wishes to family across the country, managing your expectations for yourself and others will help you stay positive. Give yourself and those around you some grace – All of us are trying to balance staying safe with some sort of a feeling of normalcy.

  • Recharge when you need to 

If, at any point, you feel overwhelmed or anxious, know that it’s OK to sy “No” or to take a step back. Healthy boundaries are necessary for your mental health. Practicing self-care can also help soothe feelings of anxiety or stress. Take a walk, watch a funny movie, or meditate.

  • Reach out to loved ones 

In times like this, living in a digital age can feel like a saving grace. Stay connected with your loved ones via text, social media, video or phone. Make yourself available for those you cannot see in person and offer your support to loved ones who may be struggling – a simple text or email can make a difference.

  • Look Yourself in the Mirror and Be Honest with Yourself

The “holiday blues” are real, so it is important to stay in tune with how you’re feeling. It can be easy to put others before yourself during the holiday season but remember that how you’re feeling matters too. Practicing mindfulness, journaling, or even rating how you feel every day can help you better understand your emotions. Pay attention to what makes you happy and incorporate it into your daily life. And remember: It’s OK to not be OK, and you’re not alone.

  •  Ask for help 

If the holidays become more than you can handle, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Talk to a loved one, trusted peer, or even your primary care physician about how you’re feeling. If you notice a family member or loved one having a difficult time, encourage them to seek help too. 

Even though this year’s holiday season may not look like it has in the past, you can still make it special and comfortable by prioritizing your physical,  psychological, and spiritual wellness.

Take it one day, one hour, one minute at a time and remember “There is no Health without Mental Health”