Caring for Your Mental Health During the Holiday Season

person tying a gold ribbon on red and green box
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

The holiday season is upon us, and you may already be experiencing increased stress and anxiety levels. This is a time for celebrations and cheer, but it can also be difficult for many people who are experiencing loss, anxiety, or depression. There are more obligations present during this time of year and you may feel as though your social battery is drained.

So, the question is…. how do you take care of your mental health during this time of year? Here are ten tips to make this year more joyful:

  1. Take time to practice self-care. Hopefully, you have self-care practices you utilize during the year, now is the time to schedule time for them. You may also need to think about other ways to practice self-care during the holiday season.
  2. Say no if you want. You do not have to accept every invitation you receive this year. If you feel as though your social battery is drained, it is ok to say no to some events.
  3. Find joy in the small things. Focus on the small things that make you feel good. Maybe watching a holiday movie with your family makes you happy, do that!
  4. Practice self-awareness. Pay attention to how you feel each day and plan accordingly. If you are feeling more anxious or sad, schedule time for self-care. Monitoring your feelings can help you utilize coping skills to help manage them.
  5. Meditate. Meditation is an excellent way to tune out the extra noise. It can help you stay present and calm.
  6. Get some fresh air. The days seem shorter and are getting darker earlier. Try getting outside when possible. The sunlight and fresh air can help you feel more energized and refreshed.
  7. Go to bed a little earlier. Feeling more rested can help you feel less stressed and depressed.
  8. Honor those you have lost. Continue a tradition or start a new one to honor the friends and family members you may have lost.
  9. Acknowledge your emotions. So often, we try to run from our uncomfortable emotions. Especially during this time of year, many of us feel as though we should not feel sad during the holidays.  Allow yourself to feel your feelings. If you are sad, allow yourself to feel sad. Emotions are temporary and won’t last forever.  When you allow yourself to feel your emotions, they are more likely to subside quicker than if you try to run from them.
  10. Take time for yourself. Do you have extra time at work you have to use? Take a day to do the things you enjoy or relax. Plan a special day doing things that make you happy. Schedule downtime where you do not make any plans and just go with the flow.

This time of year, can be emotional for many people. Acknowledging your thoughts and feelings can help you get through the holidays with a little less stress, anxiety, and depression. If you feel you need additional help for depression, anxiety, or other mental health condition, please seek a professional who can help you during this difficult time.

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