The holidays are a time for festivities and fun. However, this is not the case for some people. Between family obligations, festivals, tasks, and losing a loved one, the holidays can be a trying season for anyone.
Whether you’re coping with feelings that aren’t bright and merry or feeling the holiday blues, managing your mental health during the holiday season is crucial. Reports state that people with mental health issues experience a decline in their conditions during this period.
Taking care of your mental health or discussing your mental issues isn’t easy. However, it is a doable task with planning and commitment.
Fortunately, there are practical steps for navigating the holiday season’s emotional challenges to ensure stable mental well-being and enjoy your holiday. Here are seven essential tips for managing your mental health during the holidays.
Tips For Managing During The Festive Season
It’s normal to feel sometimes stressed, even during the holidays. The pressure to give gifts, attend social events, or travel can affect your mental health. Remember that feeling anxious is okay, but you mustn’t let it derail your festivities.
Below are some tips for managing your mental well-being during the holiday season
Make a Holiday Plan
Whether attending a host of social events or staying indoors during the holidays, your first step to managing your mental health is to create a holiday plan. Distinguish between what you need to do and what you want to do, and know the difference.
Understanding your stress triggers can help you prepare for stressful circumstances. If you know, certain events might increase your stress and anxiety levels, don’t be shy to say no to them and stay indoors.
On the contrary, attending one or two social events might benefit your mental health if you feel lonely during the festive season. Always remember that it’s perfectly okay to say no to plans that don’t make you feel good or fit into your schedule.
Get Plenty of Sleep
It’s very easy to forgo sleep during the holidays. However, it would be best to recognize that sleep is crucial to mental and physical well-being. Studies show that lack of sleep can severely impact your mood and contributes to increasing insomnia rates.
Sleep is an effective regulator of your emotions. It helps you survive the vortex of social events you must attend without being irritable. Getting enough sleep also increases your energy levels and reduces stress.
Create a sleep schedule and stick to it no matter what. Remember that the average adult needs about 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily to function properly. Don’t play with your rest, even if you need to do a little Christmas shopping.
Setting boundaries with your family and friends during the holidays is crucial to managing your mental health. Family dynamics are stressful, and setting boundaries with your family and friends can be challenging.
However, it would help if you recognized that being generous and accommodating doesn’t have to occur at the expense of your mental well-being. Speak up if an event or situation bothers you. Feeling upset about tasks, occurrences, or conditions that don’t contribute to your healthy mental state is okay.
Setting boundaries also frees you from obligations or situations that might damage your mental health. Remember to be polite and treat every complicated family or friend dynamic respectfully.
Manage Your Expectations
As you attend holiday events and interact with friends and family, you might not hit your mark with the interaction. Someone might be less excited about the holidays than you are. On the contrary, the fellow might be more excited than you are about the holiday season.
When either of these dynamics occurs, managing your expectation helps you feel less disappointed when things don’t go as expected and keeps you balanced. Take time to analyze how things could go and how they are going, and prepare for any outcome.
Managing your expectations will make you think of everything so you aren’t surprised by situations that spur difficult emotions.
Connect With People
One of the critical components of having a healthy mind and life is to surround yourself with people who care about you, lift you, and support you. You don’t have to tolerate or stay around people who undervalue, hurt, or don’t appreciate you.
This holiday season, ensure you surround yourself with family and friends contributing to your healthy state of mind. Spend time with people who accept and see you for who you are. By surrounding yourself with people who love you, you’ll be able to talk freely about issues that bother you and enjoy your holidays.
Studies have shown that receiving support from friends, family, or a positive support group can boost your mental health. Thus, you must surround yourself with positive relationships, especially during the holidays when you feel lonely or depressed.
Focus Only On Things You Can Control
Sometimes, your mind tricks you into thinking you’re in control of situations around you as long as you worry about it enough. You can’t control everything, and worrying about concerns you can’t control will stress you out and affect your mental health.
When you notice your thoughts turn worrisome, ask yourself if it’s something you can control. If not, let the thought go and focus on things you can handle. Using somatic therapy is also a great to way to deal with stress.
Accept Your Feelings
It’s okay to feel stressed or sad during the holidays. You don’t have to be in the same ‘holiday spirit’ as everyone. It’s even okay for you to feel complicated emotions, such as angst and joy simultaneously.
For some people, the holidays are a difficult time for one reason or the other. So there’s no right or wrong way to feel. However, it would be best if you accept the feelings, whatever they are. Recognize the things that stir up negative emotions or stress you out, and take steps to cope with or avoid those things.
The holidays are often called the “most wondrous time of the year.” However, only some feel bright and merry. It’s okay if the holidays aren’t your happiest time of the year.
Focus on the things and situations that make you feel good, and follow the tips in this article to manage your mental health this holiday season.