The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year. However, mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can make it difficult for some to enjoy the season to the fullest. That’s why it’s important for those living with mental illnesses to keep certain essential points in mind. The following tips will help you enjoy the season thoroughly and authentically.
4 Tips to Maintain Mental Health During the Holiday Season
1. Have Realistic Expectations
There’s a certain expectation that everyone has to enjoy themselves during the holidays. However, don’t pressure or beat yourself up if you’re dealing with difficult emotions. Mental troubles can occur at any time of year, and the priority should be taking care of your needs. For example, if you need some time alone, don’t push yourself to go to a party.
2. Prepare for Overwhelming Situations
For many people, loud parties, crowded malls, and packed supermarkets are regular parts of the holiday season. Understandably, though, many people find these situations to be overwhelming and stressful. To prepare for these circumstances, prepare an exit strategy. For example, call on a friend who is willing to pick you up if you need to leave, or have a breathing routine memorized if you begin to feel anxious.
3. Stick to a Schedule
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and diet contributes to your mental and emotional well-being. While it’s easy to deviate from your routine around this time of year due to parties and family get-togethers, try to be strict about getting at least eight hours of sleep and eating a healthy diet.
4. Reach Out
If the holidays exacerbate your anxiety or depression, don’t be afraid to seek help. Local support groups can help to make difficult emotions or periods more manageable, and it can create a safe place to express your thoughts or struggles.
If you need help during the holidays, the team at Mental Health Association of Rochester/Monroe County in New York offers high-quality treatment and counseling. For 85 years, this non-profit organization has served the community by helping people develop strategies to cope with mental health difficulties through caring support groups. Visit them online to learn more about what they can do for you, and call (585) 325-3145 to speak with a caring team member today.