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Mental Health Awareness Before the Holidays

By Genevieve Cunningham

The air is quickly becoming cool and crisp. The leaves are changing colors. The sweaters and pumpkin flavored snacks are popping up everywhere. This is a time of year with tons of fun and so much to look forward to. But, with the holidays quickly approaching, it’s also a time of stress and depression. In fact, the holidays seem to spark one of the largest episodes of mass depression across the country. What can you do to avoid this? Take a look at these tips for managing moods and feeling better than ever through the holidays and after.

Watch Your Diet

Fall and winter goodies are delicious! It’s easy to overindulge and let the pounds slide on. But a poor diet is a big contributor to poor mental health. Our bodies aren’t getting the nutrients they need in order to stay healthy, and this manifests in our mental health, as well. In order to protect yourself, indulge occasionally in the holiday goodness, but be as restrictive as possible to protect your physical and mental health.

Get More Sleep

The days are actually getting shorter. This means that it’s dark earlier in the day, and it stays dark for more hours than usual. While it’s easy to ignore this, it’s actually a signal to your body to get a little more sleep. The cold air and wintry weather require more rest from us. They also require a few more calories to keep us warm. If you’re feeling the need for a little more shut-eye, get it. Don’t stay in bed all day every day, but make sure that you’re not exhausting yourself and opening yourself up for fatigue and sickness.

Don’t Give In To Expectation

The holiday season is a time for family and friends and activity. While it’s good to be a part of the fun, don’t overextend yourself. There is absolutely no reason to break your bank on gifts, rush yourself from event to event, or make yourself feel bad when you just need a little down time. Do what you need to do for your own health and the health of your immediate family, and ignore the insane expectations that follow us this time of year.

The fall and following holidays is a time of laughter and good memories. But, it can also take a toll on your mental health. Use these tips to protect yourself all season long, and to come out even stronger on the other side.

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