The holiday season is one filled with lots of celebrations, merriment, gatherings, travel and more. However, for some people, it can also bring added stress, anxiety, and even loneliness. Prioritizing your mental health during the holidays is crucial to ensure you enjoy the season and go through the year’s end as well as settle into the new year with a nourished and refreshed mind. With topics like this, we know it’s easier said than done, so, here are five valuable strategies to help you prioritize your mental health as we get into one of our favorite times of the year.
1. Setting Realistic Expectations
The pressure to create the "perfect" holiday for you, your loved ones, and your community is real. However, it remains essential to set realistic expectations for yourself and your loved ones. The cooking, outings, travel plans, etc., do not have to be flawless. Focus on enjoying and savoring the moments shared together with people, the memories, and what the season means to you.
2. Budget Wisely
At Cypress, we like to highlight that self-care can also have a financial facet. All the spending, purchasing, gifting, and planning often cost a lot. The expenses gradually pile up, sometimes leading to financial stress. This holiday, try setting a realistic budget and an accountability system to keep you to that budget. Remember that thoughtful, meaningful spending is often more valuable than extravagant ones.
3. Self-Care Remains the Daily Priority
As many days during the holiday season can be filled with activities and commitments, maintaining self-care routines is vital to stay invigorated. In between the festivities, try to get adequate sleep, a balanced diet, some physical activity, and whatever you usually do for self-care. If necessary, create a plan that builds these into your day with set times.
4. Connect with People
We can sometimes forget the power of connecting with people when there are a lot of activities going on around us. This holiday, live in the moment as you engage in the many activities. When in need of emotional support, don't hesitate to reach out to family and friends. Share your feelings, joys, and concerns with them. A simple conversation with a loved one can provide much support and encouragement.
5. Seek Professional Help
Last but not least, if you feel your mental health is deteriorating, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Reach out to a therapist, counselor, or support group so you receive professional guidance and support during the holiday season and beyond.
This is not an exhaustive list, but I hope that you find these few strategies accessible and that they help you to prioritize your health and wellness this holiday. Remember that taking care of your mental health helps you make the most of this special time of the year.
Have a lovely holiday (in advance)!