3 Ways to Protect Mental Health Through the Holidays
By Genevieve Cunningham
The holidays are fun. Exciting. Joyous. But because they're also incredibly busy and stressful, the holidays are also really hard on the body and mind. In fact, the holiday season is a time of year when depression and the blues run rampant. And no one wants to feel down during the holidays. But is there anything we can do? Luckily, the answer is yes. If you want to protect yourself through the holiday season and beyond, take a look at these three ways to protect your mind and feel strong and capable all season long.
Take Some Alone Time
The holidays are full of family and friend time. We spend a lot of time in groups or with loved ones. And while this is a good thing, it can actually increase stress. If you need a timeout, take it. Take a day to shop alone. Take a day to stay in and wrap presents and sip a warm drink. Taking time for yourself to decompress is important. Make it a part of your holiday routine to protect your mental health.
Lower the Stress
The holidays are so stressful. We're traveling more. We're spending more money. We're pushing ourselves to the max. And this increase in basic stress can make us feel mentally vulnerable. Plan stress relieving activities to lower your stress and improve mental health. These activities might include regular exercise, hot showers, yoga, or deep breathing practices. Or it may also include spending less money on gifts, saying no to activities that you can't make, and letting yourself off the hook for not being able to do it all. Less stress at the holidays can go a long way, so make sure this is a part of your health routine during the season.
Find Enjoyable Things in the Future
One of the best parts about the holidays is the part leading up to them. The part where we can look forward to the parties and presents and delicious food. When the holidays are over, it can cause a quick decline in mental wellness simply because we don't see any enjoyment in the near future. Don't let this happen! Instead, deliberately look for things to look forward to just after the holidays. Plan a trip or get involved in a new year activity. Keeping the hope and excitement alive year-round is good for the mind.
The holidays can be tough. They can turn a normal day into stress-filled chaos. Use these tips to protect your mental health through the holidays, and you may be able to find more enjoyment without the extra stress all year long.
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