Tips to Support Your Mental Health Around the Holidays
Although the holiday season can be magical, it also can be stressful. Many individuals experience significantly greater loneliness, isolation, and grief over the loss of a loved one during this time.
The holidays often are filled with family gatherings, work potlucks, and travel to visit loved ones. These activities divert from usual routines and healthy habits.
Many individuals experience challenges with family dynamics or relationships with holiday traditions. Other difficulties include paying for gifts, traveling during snowy weather, and taking time off work.
Feeling pressure to fit in every holiday activity and event can lead to disappointment when things do not go as planned. The results often include feelings of anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.
Therefore, you must prioritize your mental health around the holidays to maintain your quality of life. These methods can help.
Implement these tips to support your mental health around the holidays.
Make Realistic Plans
Schedule holiday activities and events that fit with your priorities and budget. Being realistic about what matters the most to you and what you can afford helps reduce stress over time constraints and financial issues.
Be honest and transparent about your boundaries. Maintaining your boundaries helps reduce feelings of stress and overwhelm.
For instance, participate in the holiday activities and events that mean the most to you and decline the others. You might say, “That will not work for me,” or “That is out of my budget for the year.”
Focus on Gratitude
Emphasize the things you are grateful for. Expressing gratitude releases endorphins that support happiness. This activity helps reduce feelings of isolation, pressure, and disappointment and build resiliency.
Set New Year Goals
Create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound (SMART) goals for the new year. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve and why it matters motivates you to continue moving forward. Detailing the steps to take, when you want to reach each goal, and what success will look like increases the odds of attainment.
Regularly check in to analyze where you are at in your goal attainment process. For instance, determine what is going well, what could be better, and specific steps for improvement. Also, readjust your timeline as needed. Additionally, celebrate your successes along the way.
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