MENTAL HEALTH AND THE HOLIDAYS
The holiday season is just around the corner and while many look forward to festivities with friends and family, others can experience an increase in stress, anxiety and depression. With COVID-19 on the rise, planning ahead and being aware of your emotions can help you be prepared with a coping skill when
you experience a holiday trigger.
Begin or continue therapy
Although the holidays are typically a busy time, be sure to keep your scheduled therapy sessions or begin therapy if you are having trouble managing your stress, anxiety or depression. The holidays can bring up difficult feelings and having a scheduled therapy session gives you the time to explore and work through them.
Make time for yourself. Find something that reduces your stress and helps clear your mind. Try taking a walk, listening to music or podcast, reading a book, talking to a good friend or watching a favorite movie.
Set realistic expectations
The holidays don’t have to be perfect. Traditions evolve and change as families grow. Be sure to stick to your budget and manage your time and travel schedule so you can relax and be present with your loved ones.
Limit alcohol use
Alcohol use is known to increase during this time. Instead of trying to relax with alcohol, make a cup of your favorite warm tea and try to practice mindfulness or other healthy activities.
Get some sun
Spending time outdoors in the sun can be an effective centering and calming tool. Even people who are not diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder with a Seasonal Pattern can benefit from spending time in nature and planning ahead to be outdoors on sunny days.
Ask for help
If you feel alone or depressed, reach out for support. Family, friends, religious or community organizations can help.