The holiday season can quickly become stressful with countless gatherings, shopping lists, and meals to prepare - all while attempting to maintain your regular routine. While it’s important to take time to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family, it’s also imperative that you are managing your mental health during the holidays.
9 Habits to Manage Mental Health During the Holidays
- Realize that you cannot control others. Recognize the people in your life are who they are. You can't change people, but you can choose who you spend your time with.
- You don’t have to do everything. Gatherings will overlap, gifts may be sold out, and someone is bound to bring up a sore subject in conversation. It's not always easy, but give yourself permission to let things go and walk away if you need to.
- Allow yourself to enjoy the time of year. Take time each day to find a personal way you can celebrate the holiday season.
- Take care of yourself. Whether it’s keeping up with your gym routine, making time for a manicure, or scheduling a coffee date away from your desk, make sure you are taking the time to care for yourself as much as you are preparing to give to others.
- Balance is key. Take everything in moderation. Food, alcohol, and RSVPing “attending” to gatherings can all become exhausting and take away from the joys of the holidays.
- Pay attention to your budget. Spending more money than you planned can cause unnecessary stress. Before heading to the stores or shopping online, write a list of who you need to purchase gifts for and how much you’d like to spend. Also, consider the money you will be spending on extra trips out to eat, dishes you will be making for potlucks, and any travel expenses.
- Check-in. The holidays can be a challenging time for many people. Reach out to friends and family members to see how they are doing, if you can provide support, or just to say hello.
- Perform a random act of kindness. You can pay for a stranger’s coffee, take an extra moment to hold the door for someone, or deliver dinner to a neighbor. Taking the time to make someone else happy will make you cheerful in return.
- Remember what the season is actually about. Take time once a week to write down three things you are grateful for. This list may change or remain constant, but remind yourself what is important to you.
The holidays are meant to be a season of joy and spending time with those we love, but sometimes it can make us feel overwhelmed. Don’t let the hustle and bustle become too much. It’s okay to step away and take some time to improve your own mental health if that’s what you need.
For additional mental health resources, visit our parent, business, and school pages, where you will find helpful tips to practice yourself or share with your friends and family.