Managing Your Mental Health -- Holiday or Not
By Brandi Goodman
The holidays can throw things out of whack for a lot of people. Your schedule may be off, you have more tasks on your to-do list, and there's a variety of gifts to buy and extracurriculars to participate in. It's easy to let your mental health slide during this time. You need to find ways to manage your mental health so it always stays at the top of the priority list -- no matter if a holiday is going on or not.
Recognize What Triggers You
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to recognize what triggers you. If going through the store trying to find Christmas gifts for everyone on your list makes you feel anxious and causes you stress, don't do it. Try online shopping instead or opt for gift cards so you don't have to worry about selecting the "right" gift.
Perhaps it's having your entire family around that brings on a panic attack. You don't have to go to the family party if you're not up for it. Simply let them know you're not feeling well and can't attend and do something enjoyable instead. Knowing what triggers you can help you make alternative plans.
Get Enough Sleep
Staying up later than usual trying to get all of your holiday tasks accomplished won't help your mental health. You need to get enough sleep if you have any hope of feeling well-rested and able to handle the day without feeling both physically and mentally exhausted quickly. Get enough sleep each night so you have a better chance of making it through your day.
You need to follow through with self-care plans every single day. No matter if it's just 5 minutes to yourself or you've got hours to spare, you should spend the time you have doing something you enjoy. Finding something that relaxes your mind or makes you feel good is key. Take a shower and put on some fresh clothes. Read a book. Do your hair and makeup. Exercise. Sit and watch a funny movie. Draw. Journal. There are so many different ways to practice self-care. Make sure you're prioritizing it above everything so you can thrive.
The holidays can be a trying time that's hard on your mental well-being. Do your best to avoid what triggers you and try to get the sleep your brain needs to reset and recharge. It will help you make it through the season in one piece.
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