Holiday Survival Tips!

 

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The holidays are a time for family, friends, food and fun, but this time of year can also be hectic and stressful. The hunt for the perfect gift… Feuding relatives… Freezing cold weather… Endless hours in the kitchen… Don’t let the holiday season stress you out this year!

The holidays present unique challenges in maintaining mental health, so we’ve compiled some tips to make it easier for you this year.

 

Limit Stress and Anxiety
Don’t let your holiday to-do list take over your life.

Set limits.
Establishing boundaries on what you will do and what you won’t do in advance of family gatherings will make it easier to say “no.” Understand that it’s okay to refuse last minute additions to your already full holiday to-do list.

Ask yourself do I really HAVE to do this?
If we all had unlimited time, energy and resources this season, the holidays would still not be as shiny and perfect as a Macy’s winter catalog. Use your time and energy wisely as to not burn yourself out. When looking at your to-do list items, ask yourself is this something that HAS to be done? What are the consequences of foregoing this task?

Don’t dwell on how things could have been, accept them for what they are.
If you couldn’t afford to get your kids that super expensive game console they wanted, it’s okay. If you ran out of time to cook your aunt’s favorite dessert, it’s okay. Set realistic expectations for yourself and loved ones. Understand there are things beyond your control, and that’s okay.

Take time for yourself.
The holidays are generally about family and doing for others. Despite all that’s on your plate this season, don’t forget to ensure that your own mental health needs are being taken care of. Take time for yourself when needed.

 

Fight the Winter Blues
Days are darker and colder and we’re spending a lot more time indoors. Incorporate the following into your routine to battle the low energy levels and down feelings we often experience during winter months.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol.
• Alcohol is a depressant, and can make an already low mood even lower. Limit your alcohol intake, and avoid binge drinking.
• Try replacing your coffee with caffeine-free tea, as caffeine can suppress levels of serotonin and negatively impact your mood.

Plan Activities.
• When it’s cold and dark outside, it’s easy to get sucked into the pattern of work, couch, remote. Try to plan at least one outing each week. Whether it’s by yourself or with friends – get out of the house!

Eat Healthy.
• Avoid processed foods like white breads, rice and sugar, which can lower energy levels and affect your mood. Remember to drink lots of water and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Exercise.
• Aim to get moving for at least 15-20 minutes a day, whether it’s simply taking a walk around your neighborhood, stretching while catching up on TV shows or exercising with your favorite workout video on YouTube.

Light.
• Soak up some sun! Get out of the office for your lunch break, sit by windows whenever possible and keep the curtains open in mornings and afternoons.
• If you aren’t able to get any natural light, try light therapy with artificial light boxes.

 

Click here to print our Holiday Survival Tip Sheet!

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