Joy, peace, and cheer aren’t the only things the holidays bring. For some people, this season is the most stressful time of year. Every gathering and gift exchange comes with extra responsibilities. The shorter days and dreary weather don’t help, either. Even if you enjoy the holiday season, you can still find your mental health declining over these weeks. Make sure you have a plan to keep your spirits up this season. From leaning on loved ones to setting healthy boundaries, here are three tips for better mental health over the holidays.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
You’re not the only one who struggles with this season, so why should you go through it alone? Avoiding isolation is particularly important in 2020, when many families are cancelling large holiday gatherings in the name of social distancing. While the holidays look different this year, that doesn’t mean you have to be without friends, family, and support. Don’t be afraid to reach out to loved ones. Whether it’s a shoulder to lean on or a friendly face on a video call, you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—deal with the stress of the season alone.
Enjoy the Small Things
With so much going on over the holidays, it’s easy to rush through the weeks without taking a break. You don’t want to look back and realize you didn’t even enjoy the holidays while they were here—especially if you usually enjoy this time of year. Try to pause once a day and take in a little bit of the season. Savor the taste of a Christmas cookie. Admire the twinkle of the festive lights on your street. Not every day has to be a good one, but if you can find one small, good thing about every day, you can make the season a little brighter for yourself.
Know Your Boundaries
Gift shopping, hosting gatherings, dealing with family—it all adds up to a lot of stress this season. One of the best tips for better mental health over the holidays is to know how much you can handle. Figuring out and standing up for your boundaries can help you avoid a lot of stress throughout the holidays. This can mean relieving yourself of certain responsibilities, scheduling personal time for some peace and quiet, or learning how to avoid drinking and other triggers during festive gatherings. These are all great practice for the rest of the year as well. Setting boundaries for yourself—and asking your friends and family to respect them—is a great way to prevent burnout and better enjoy the holiday season.
Authored by Inspire Your Journey