Mental health over the holidays can play a big role in whether you and your family enjoy them this season. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is… check in with yourself and make sure you are mentally healthy to enjoy the season. Every time the holiday’s come around, we know that the giving of gifts and spending time with those we love might be paired with really complicated things outside of that: increased workloads, trying to finish tight deadlines, feeling the losses of things we once had during another holiday season.
5 Tips on Mental health over the holidays
But there is a way to exercise your mental health and rise above holiday stress. Here are 5 ways to keep your mental health in check and enjoy this holiday season:
1. Check in with yourself this holiday
It’s easy to bulldoze through the holidays and just “get through it” if you are buried in work, trying to finish a lot of tasks, or simply wanting to ignore things that might be painful. Know that it’s ok—and healthy—to acknowledge your feelings and check in with where you’re at. The acknowledgment will help you process and stay in touch with how you’re actually feeling and not what you’re trying to feel. Maybe write out a quick sentence in your notes app so that it’s documented and out of your head.
2. Check in with others
Ironically, when we are stressed or busy, sometimes we isolate ourselves and only think about ourselves and what we need to do to get the tasks ahead of us done. But sometimes the best thing for our “productivity” is to get outside of our head or thinking about what we need to do. A simple check-in with a friend, family member, or coworker can help build connection and a “we’re-in-this-life-together” comradery. They may check in with you too and give you the much-needed human connection during the holidays that you need to feel re-energized.
3. Set boundaries with yourself and others
Setting boundaries with yourself is just as important as setting boundaries with others. If you tend to overwork over the holiday season, what are things within your control that you can do to prevent mental burnout? This could include leaving the office (or going offline) at a certain hour every day—or assessing what absolutely has to be done before the new year, or what can be pushed to the new year. Additionally, the holidays include lots of expectations from other people. While making sure you’re still a part of a healthy human connection, feel the freedom to say no to the demands of other people if there is too much on your plate.
4. Don’t let your thoughts be passive
We have more power over our thoughts than we think we do. Some thoughts seem out of nowhere and out of place. Recognize what thoughts might be seemingly true but not the whole truth—these tend to come in during busy and tired seasons. A great counteracter to sinking thoughts is gratitude. Gratitude for the things you do have, the people you do have, and for good things to come.
5. Talk to someone over the holidays
Whether it be a friend, family member, or a professional (or ideally all three), it’s so healthy to express how we’re really doing to someone else. This opens up the opportunity for another person to care for us and to have a soundboard that gets our thoughts and feelings out of our heads and responded to them with wisdom, care, and love from someone else.
If you’re looking to talk to a professional, Generations Behavioral Healthcare is ready to provide telehealth services to help you keep your mental health in check. Contact us today to book an appointment!