With the heightened focus on family, finances, and work, the holidays can be a stressful time. To prevent stress from becoming overwhelming, prioritize mental health and well-being. Such practices can include:
- Establishing boundaries. The holidays can spread your time, patience, and money thin. By creating boundaries and working to maintain them, you can prevent burnout. Support your mental health by saying no to extra tasks and activities that do not benefit you.
- Pinpointing stress triggers and reliefs. As previously mentioned, family, finances, and work are common stressors for most people. It is important to understand where your stress derives from so you can take active steps to mitigate the effects, as stress can lead to unhelpful or unhealthy habits. Prioritize activities that promote peace and relaxation, when possible.
- Making healthy decisions. Be mindful of how you practice self-care. How you care for yourself should go beyond short-sighted indulgences. Attempt to decrease the intake of caffeine and alcohol, as they heighten feelings of depression and anxiety. Instead, focus on healthy choices that have long-term positive effects, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising, and keeping a dependable sleep schedule.
- Focusing on positive holiday activities. While the holidays can be chaotic, there are aspects that people cherish, like traditions or quality time spent with loved ones. By fixating on the positive parts of the holiday and minimizing the negative, you can have a better holiday experience.
- Reaching out when struggling. The holidays can dredge up difficult feelings and memories, but support is available. Friends, family, colleagues, support groups, and community events all can provide companionship and comfort. Volunteering is another good way to pass time and obtain a rewarding emotional boost from helping others.
- Obtaining professional help, if necessary. When in need of guidance or experiencing persistent anxiety or depression, it may be in your best interest to speak with a mental health professional. These professionals are trained to help you navigate the challenges the holidays present and can help ease your burdens.
Protecting and prioritizing mental health this season can allow you to minimize stress and maximize the best parts of your holiday.