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7 Tips to protect your mental health this holiday season

The holiday season is one of the most joyous and exciting times of the year. It’s a time to come together with friends and family, exchange gifts and celebrate. But the holidays can also be an incredibly stressful period if you’re not careful. The hustle and bustle of the season can quickly take a toll on your mental health.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are ten tips to help you stay mindful, healthy, and positive during the holiday season. From taking time for yourself and being mindful of your holiday to-do list to setting boundaries and focusing on your physical health, these tips will help you make the most of your holiday season and protect your mental health.

Photo by Imad Clicks from Pexels.com

Take time for yourself.

The holidays are a busy and often stressful time of the year. Many of us feel the need to be “on” during this season — attending social events, shopping for gifts, baking holiday treats, and more. While some of these activities can be enjoyable, others may feel like a burden. Feeling like you need to do everything and be everything for everyone can leave you feeling stressed, exhausted, and burned out. If you don’t take time to recharge and look after yourself, the holidays may leave you feeling stressed and burned out. So, take time for yourself. Make sure you’re scheduling time to relax and be alone. This could mean taking daily meditation breaks, using products from The Standard, or even scheduling a short period of solitude each day — no technology or distractions. Taking time out to decompress will help you recharge and keep your mental health in check during this busy time of year.

Surround yourself with positive people

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with loved ones. They’re also a time when you may find yourself in the company of people you aren’t as close to. This could be people from work, extended family members you only see once a year, or friends of friends. If you find yourself in situations where you don’t feel comfortable or don’t know what to do, it’s important to know when it’s time to go. If you feel like you can’t leave or you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you can always excuse yourself and ask for some time alone. If you find yourself in the company of people who make you feel bad about yourself, make you feel uncomfortable, or say or do things that make you feel judged or ashamed, it’s important to know you don’t need to be around that. You can always excuse yourself and leave. When you’re surrounded by positive people who lift you up and help you feel confident and comfortable, the holidays will be a better and more enjoyable experience for you.

Set boundaries

While it can be hard to say no, it’s important to set boundaries. Particularly if you’re in a relationship and you’re spending time with your partner’s family, you may find yourself in situations where you feel pressured to do things you don’t want to do — whether that be eating certain foods, going on shopping sprees, or attending family events. If you’re in a relationship, it’s important to set boundaries with your partner as well. If you’ve found yourself feeling pressured to do things you don’t want to do, or you’ve been asked to do something you don’t feel comfortable doing, remember, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, especially if it makes you feel bad about yourself.

Photo by Martin Lopez from Pexels.com

Focus on what you want to get out of the holiday season

While the holidays can be a joyous and happy time, they can also be incredibly stressful. If you find yourself feeling more anxious than joyful as the season progresses, it may be helpful to refocus your attention on why you’re celebrating in the first place. What are you most excited about? What are you looking forward to? Make a list and refer to it as the holidays progress. This can help you refocus your attention on the celebration and joy of the season rather than on the pressures, demands, and stress that may come with it. This can help you stay positive and in a positive mental state throughout the holidays.

Reach out for help if needed

If you feel like you’re becoming overwhelmed or losing control of your emotions, you must reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. You can also call a crisis line or visit a mental health clinic. There are people who can help you get back on track and focus on positive, healthy living. Even if you don’t think you need help, reaching out for support from a trusted loved one can help you stay positive and focused on what’s most important during the holidays.

Spend time outdoors

Spending time in nature has been shown to help reduce stress and improve mental health. If you feel like you’re becoming more anxious or stressed as the holidays approach, make sure to make time for some outdoor time. Visit a park, take a walk, go for a hike — anything that gets you outside in nature. Being in nature has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety by as much as 50 per cent, which can help you stay positive and healthy around the holidays.

Get plenty of sleep.

Most of us know that getting enough sleep is important — but few of us follow through with this. Especially during the holidays, it can be tempting to stay up late shopping, attending parties, and baking. While these activities may be enjoyable, they can also reduce the amount of sleep you get. Getting too little sleep can leave you feeling anxious, stressed, and less focused, which can be a real problem during the holidays. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep during this time of year. This might mean going to bed earlier or turning off your technology an hour earlier each night so that you can get to sleep.

Conclusion

The holiday season is a wonderful and exciting time of year, but it can also be a stressful and busy time. With these tips, you’ll be prepared to stay mindful and positive during the holidays so that you can truly enjoy and benefit from this wonderful season.

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Your "not that regular" all-around gal, writing about anything, thus everything. "There's always more to discover... thus write about," she says in between - GASP! - puffs. And so that's what she does, exactly. Write, of course; not (just) puff.

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