Mental Health During the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be a wonderful, colorful time of year — full of love, gratitude, and warmth. However, that’s not always true for everyone. The holidays can be hard on individuals, so it’s even more important that you pay attention to your mental health during these stressful times.

With that in mind, here are some tips and tricks that you can use to take care of yourself when the going gets rough. And perhaps you’ll start to feel that spark of joy in the season again.

You Time

If you are spending all of your time dedicating energy to other people, you can end up feeling an undue amount of stress. Even if these are people you genuinely care for and normally could draw energy from, there is too much of a good thing. Even if you are not responsible for the festivities and get-togethers, it can sometimes be overwhelming to be available all the time constantly.

This is why you must establish times of each day that are specifically and purposefully for you. To do what, exactly? Whatever you want. That’s the point.

Even for extroverts, expended energy is still expended energy. And if giving it to other people is what gets you out of bed in the morning, you have to have the energy to spend in the first place. So taking some time for yourself to recharge and reenergize is important in the busy holiday season. You can save yourself a significant amount of stress and exhaustion by planning ahead and carving out time to rest.

Spread Things Out

Do you know what isn’t good for one’s mental health? Trying to cram in all of the gift shopping and dinner cooking into one hectic and miserable day.

Now, this is a tip that on some level runs counter to a tip that other people might propose: Get everything out of the way early. The idea here is that if everything is done as soon as it can be done, you won’t have to worry about it when the deadline approaches. This is definitely one way to do it. However, as we’ve stated before, it runs the risk of putting you in the same situation you were trying to avoid — and it puts you there earlier.

If keeping your sanity is a top priority, then it’s best not to feel overburdened or like you’re about to take on a Herculean task in a matter of a few hours. So, in order to keep things simple and manageable, it’s a good idea to spread out all of the necessary tasks across the span of a few days. This keeps the task list short enough to seem possible — like you’re in control.

Less Is More

It’s a celebration, one of the biggest of the year. How could you not bring out every ounce of extravagance and color possible for the people you love?

Well, like we’ve talked about in the second section, overburdening yourself can do more harm than good in the long run. Plus, that stress doesn’t stop once everything is complete. You still have to keep mental tabs on what’s been done, are the presents wrapped? Do I need to reheat dinner? Are there cookies for Santa?

When the enjoyment of the holidays hinges on keeping several plates in the air, guess what? You are no longer celebrating a holiday: you’re juggling.

Why not ease your own burden? Keep things simple, and keep them sweet. Give yourself and those around you some breathing room to enjoy themselves and experience the ambiance.

Give Yourself Some Credit

As a final little piece of advice: it’s about time you started feeling good about yourself, hmm?

This isn’t just for the sake of practicing self-love as a concept nebulously tied to the idea of the stressful Holiday season. If you’ve been paying attention, all the other roads that previous sections have paved lead more or less in this direction. If you want to keep your energy up, keep your spirits high, and enjoy this wonderful time of year for what it is, then it starts with you.

It’s frankly kind of astonishing how many things in your life are affected by your self-esteem or lack thereof. Things seem more possible, you feel less guilty for doing things your way, and decadence seems less necessary when you’re comfortable with yourself.

So take some time this season, not just to celebrate the season and the lights. Take some time to celebrate you.

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