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Holidays & Your Mental Health: A Coping Guide

Health Tips
Dec 23, 2021

Holidays & Your Mental Health: A Coping Guide

The holidays should be a time of joy and happiness, not stress and anxiety. However, for some people, celebrating Christmastime and New Year's can be a challenging time for managing their mental health. It can be difficult to avoid feelings of stress and depression, especially when there is so much pressure to be happy and festive. This article aims to assist people who suffer from mental health disorders in coping better with feelings of loneliness and seeing happier times during and after holiday gatherings.

Tips on Managing Mental Health During the Holiday Season

While the busy holiday season often depicts images of people having a wonderful time, spending time with friends and loved ones, and maximising their personal time off work or school, some people see it as a stressful time. There is so much to do, and it can be difficult to manage all of the demands of the festive season. The holidays can also be a time when feelings of isolation sink in. Often, it makes depression worse in some people as they feel like they have to put on a happy face for the sake of others, and this can be very stressful.

If you are struggling with your mental health during the holidays, it is important to talk to friends, family, or reach out to a qualified mental health professional. There are many resources available to help you manage the holiday stress you are experiencing. Just remember to be kind to yourself and don't put too much pressure on yourself. The following tips can help reduce your stress levels, regulate your emotional health and improve your daily life long after the holidays are over.

Set realistic expectations

First, it is important to set realistic expectations for yourself. The holidays are not perfect, and they are not meant to be perfect. It is okay to feel stressed or sad sometimes – this is natural during the holiday season. However, try to focus on the good things that are happening, and don't put too much pressure on yourself to have a "perfect" holiday.

Wellness tips for the holidaysSource: WTXL Tallahassee

Be mindful of your physical health

It is critical to look after your physical health. Physical stress and negative emotions have been linked in studies, so make sure you're exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, and always ensuring good sleep quality. According to brain specialists, nuts, seeds, eggs, turmeric, fatty fish like salmon and dark chocolate offer a wide range of mental health benefits. 

Spend quality time with yourself

Take some time for yourself to relax or do something you enjoy. This can be a great way to manage your mental health during the holidays. Maybe you could read a book, watch a movie or take a walk and commune with nature. Nature has been shown to have positive effects on our mental health, so take advantage of it during the holiday season. Meditating or practising yoga is also a great way to bring down your stress levels. Anything that helps you relax and escape from the holiday stress is worth doing.

Talk about your feelings openly without judgement

This is an important part of managing your mental health during the holidays. When you can talk about how you are feeling, it makes it easier to cope with any stress or sadness that may come up. Just make sure that you find people who will listen to you without judgement and who will support you all the way. Obviously, you can try talking to professionals like life coaches and counsellors near your area.

Spend time with those who matter

Spending time with people who make you happy and loved is a great way to improve your mental health. Negative or toxic relationships can be very damaging to your mental health, so it's important to surround yourself with positive people who will lift you up. Happy, positive people can help improve your mood and make you feel happier overall. When you're feeling down, calling or visiting a friend or family member can help brighten your day.

The holiday season can be a difficult time for managing your mental health. However, by following these tips, you can manage your mental health effectively and enjoy the season without feeling overwhelmed. Happy holidays!

FAQs About the Holidays & Mental Health

Do holidays help with mental health?

Holidays have numerous health benefits on the physical, mental and emotional levels, according to studies. It has been found that having a family gathering lowers blood pressure and stress levels. Family time has also been related to increased energy, a healthier sleep pattern and emotional stability.

What causes holiday anxiety?

Holiday anxiety is triggered by several factors, including financial strains, unreasonable expectations and the desire to make the perfect holiday for oneself and others. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that manifests itself in the months leading up to Christmas and New Year's.

How does Christmas affect mental health?

Christmas is a festive season that has been shown to have positive effects on mental health. Researchers found that there are less reports of self-harm and demand for mental health services during this time.

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