Did you know that 64% of people with mental illness report that the holidays
make their conditions worse? Families and individuals that are coping
with mental health challenges can feel lonely, stressed, depressed or
filled with anxiety during the holiday season. Do you fall into this percentage?
We’ve put together a guide to help lower stress and anxiety and
maintain good mental health during this holiday season.
ACCEPT YOUR NEEDS
Be kind to your mind! Put yourself first. Recognize the things that are
making you stressed or full of anxiety. Is it shopping for gifts? Hosting
your Zoom family dinner? Once you recognize these triggers, you will be
able to take the steps to avoid the stress and anxiety.
WRITE A GRATITUDE LIST
Gratitude has been proven to improve mental health. 2020 has been an especially
challenging year for everyone. The end of the year is getting closer,
it’s a great time to reflect back on what you are grateful for and
thank those who have supported you along the way.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
Prioritize your time and activities to help you use your time better. You
can start by making a day-to-day schedule to help ensure you won’t
feel overwhelmed with too much. It is okay to say no to plans that don’t
make you feel good, or don’t fit into your schedule.
Deep Breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are great
ways to calm yourself. Take a break to refocus.
Having to stay home throughout the holidays can bring on food binges. Try
to maintain a healthy diet through this time. Eating unprocessed foods
like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a
healthy body and mind.
Set a time where you can walk outside, bike or schedule a virtual dance
class. Whatever it is you plan for yourself, make sure it’s something
fun! Daily exercise produces stress relieving hormones in your body and
improves your overall health.
Volunteering can provide comfort. Being able to help others, can help you
feel less isolated and connected to your community.
Talking about it can help, whether it’s with friends, family, a counselor
or a support group. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
If you or someone you love is having a hard time with mental illness during
the holidays, we have Behavioral Health Counselors here to help. Call
or text us at 509-488-5256 to speak with one of them today.