3 Ways to End the Holiday Mental Health Woes
By Genevieve Cunningham
The holidays are a tough time of year. Yes, they're exciting and fun and full of sweet nostalgia. But for many people, they're also a little bit depressing. We don't mean to feel blue during this time of year, but it happens nonetheless. But regardless of why we feel this way -- whether it's family problems or finances or simply missing loved ones -- the good news is that there may be a few things that we can do to stop the anguish and feel better. Though nothing can take the place of professional mental health care when it's needed, take a look at these tips to help you beat the blues and feel mentally well this season.
Take Time for Yourself
At this time of year, it's really easy to get caught up in what everyone else needs. We're taught to be compassionate and full of service. And those are great qualities to possess during the holidays! But you shouldn't cater to everyone else at your own expense. Make sure that you're taking plenty of time for yourself. If you need a day away, take it. If you need an hour to yourself, get in your car and go. It's OK to spend time with others, and it's also OK to spend time alone. Take the time you need, and you're less likely to feel stressed out and overwhelmed.
Talk It Out
If you have a good friend or family member that you trust, ask them to be your sounding board. Sometimes we just have to get the stress out of our minds. How? We talk about it. If you see a therapist, ask them for an extra session or two to get your through the season. If not, ask a trusted person to help you out. And if you don't have anyone, turn on the recorder on your phone and talk to yourself. Just getting it out of your head and saying it aloud is likely enough to take some of the stress away.
Don't Stress the Small Stuff
We all tend to worry about stuff that doesn't matter. You don't have to find the perfect present. The food doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to pick the perfect outfit. All of that stuff will drive you crazy. Instead, don't sweat the small things. Focus on the things that matter -- your family and friends and of course, yourself. Give the worry a break. Relax about everything being perfect. The more relaxed you can be about your surroundings, the easier it will be to keep your mental health in check.
It's really important to keep your mental health in check at this time of year. It's a tough time for many, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. Use these tips to relax and unwind and keep the stress away. With a little help and a positive mindset, you may be able to escape the holidays and make it into the new year with your mental wellness better than ever before.
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