Updated: Nov 30
Let’s face it – despite the lights, music and cheer, the winter holidays are a stressful time for many. Reminders of painful childhood events, financial strain, or not having anyone to celebrate with, are just a few of the ways that the holidays can trigger mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression.
For some, the holidays bring about grief when the family you once celebrated with has changed, or loved ones have passed on. For others, perhaps the family you do see for holidays holds different values than you, has caused you trauma, or spending time together is simply difficult.
Regardless of your unique situation this holiday season, here are a few ways you can give yourself the gift of self-care:
1. Know your limits. What’s the latest you can stay out without exhausting yourself? How much money are you willing to spend on gifts for others, while still being able to manage your budget afterward? Are there topics of conversation that will trigger anxiety for you if had at the dinner table? Consider what some of your limits are this holiday season, and honor those limits for the sake of your mental health. Practice how you will set the boundary with kind yet firm language, and validate to yourself that your needs are just as important as others’.
2. Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. There’s something about the holiday season that makes it feel like it’s a requirement to be in a joyful mood. Not feeling the joy? That’s okay! Allow yourself to feel whatever emotions are coming up for you, even if they don’t fit with what you’re “supposed” to be feeling. And recognize that many others are in a similar boat, despite what it may appear. Find what helps you to connect with your true emotions, whether that’s writing, drawing, dancing, or listening to or making music.
3. Stick to the routines that help you. Does a morning walk help to clear your mind? Do you need alone time before bed? Try to stick to the routines that make you feel good, even if your day-to-day schedule is different. Doing the same healthy activities and keeping up with daily habits such as exercising, reflecting, and eating 3 nutritious meals per day can help to keep your mental health game strong even when there are added stressors, social events, and tasks on your to-do list.
4. Limit alcohol and other substance use. With more social and family events taking place this time of year, there may be more opportunities than usual to engage in drinking alcohol. Understand the negative impacts that alcohol can have on your anxiety, depression, and sleep, and try to limit your intake of alcohol to keep a clear mind. Check out this list of holiday mocktails to try!
Navigating mental health during the holidays requires a conscious effort to balance the festive spirit with personal well-being. By setting boundaries, acknowledging your emotions, sticking to routines, and being mindful of consumption, you can enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling holiday season.
Remember, taking care of your mental health is not just a seasonal commitment, but a continuous journey towards overall well-being.
This holiday season, if you find yourself navigating a maze of emotional challenges, remember that support is just a call away. At Revive Therapeutic Services, we specialize in providing compassionate mental health therapy tailored to your unique needs.
Whether you're coping with anxiety or depression, or simply need a space to process and talk, our dedicated team is here to support you. Engaging with professional therapy at Revive Therapeutic Services can be a transformative step towards not only managing seasonal stress but also enhancing your overall well-being.
Reach out to us today and discover how our mental health therapy services can help you experience a more joyful and peaceful holiday season. Your mental health matters, and at Revive Therapeutic Services, we're committed to being a part of your journey towards greater happiness and health.