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Mental Health Strategies for the Holiday Season

The holidays can be busy and stressful for many people. The hustle and bustle of decorating, shopping, or for some, being alone or missing a loved one, can be overwhelming. Some push through to the point of not taking care of themselves, while others may withdraw. Everyone copes differently, and there are numerous strategies one could use to help their mental health this holiday season. Here are a few possibilities:

Remember what really matters to you: You could do this by making a list of what you enjoy, including traditions, creating new memories, or spending time with those that matter to you.

Shower others with kindness: A simple act could be visiting someone who is alone or seeing a friend you have not seen in a while. I enjoy baking and sharing my baked goods with friends as a way for me to let them know that I am thinking about them.

Think of your resolutions: How can you be better in the new year?

Set aside time for self-care: This could simply be taking a 30-minute walk, soaking in a bathtub, or finding some quiet to ponder on the past year.

Set a budget and stick to it: Oftentimes during the holidays, we get carried away with our spending.

Be careful about your mood: One needs to be in tune to what they are feeling and do their best to avoid any triggers that may cause them to get anxious or sad.

Know when to ask for help: Whether it is with a professional or someone who is a good listener, never let how you are feeling be invalidated.

Keep a regular sleep schedule, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly: This is important to follow all year.

For those who miss a loved one, continue traditions that they once shared: Talking about the special memories that they shared or looking at pictures may help some get through this time.

Everyone handles emotions and feelings differently. It is important to remember to listen to how you are feeling, take time to breathe, and find out why you are feeling a certain way. All of the materialistic things of the holidays are meaningless if you are not in a place to enjoy the people and life around you.

Meet the Author

Gabriella Helkowski

Gabriella Helkowski is a Faith Inclusion and Belonging Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2022. She graduated with her Bachelor of the Arts degree from Mercyhurst University. When not working, she likes to spend time with her friends and family, photography, cooking and traveling.

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