If you’re on a journey toward mental well-being, you may worry that the triggers and stressors that come around the holiday season may be too much for you to handle. Working to manage good mental health during the holidays can help to prepare you for the upcoming events and anxieties that come with this time of year. And, fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to better maintain good mental health during the holidays.
Here are a few tips for managing mental health during the holiday season:
Come up With a Plan for When Things Get Overwhelming
Being prepared is the key to success when it comes to most things in life, including managing mental health. So, before the holiday season comes full swing, it can be helpful to come up with a plan if something does trigger you to feel lonely, sad, depressed, angry, or anxious. Coming up with a plan to manage negative feelings and outbursts can be a lifesaver. Think of things you can do in these situations in order to better manage your emotions. This can include taking a walk, reaching out to a trusted friend or family member, or even watching your favorite Christmas movie.
Use Your Support System
When times are tough, one of the best things you can do is reach out to the people who support your mental healing journey. This doesn’t change during the holiday season. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stricken by grief, or experiencing any other negative emotion, it can be helpful to remember who is always there for you. And, reach out to these individuals in order to vent your feelings, frustrations, and concerns. Sometimes, just getting these feelings off your chest can help you feel a bit better. Furthermore, having someone there to listen to you without judgment can help you feel validated in what you’re feeling. And, give you the clear-headedness to figure out what to do moving forward.
Don’t Ignore Your Feelings
During the holidays, it can be easy to ignore what you’re feeling because you may be putting other people’s needs before your own. Certainly, you want the holidays to be a great and joyous time, but if you ignore what you’re feeling, this can catch up to you and may lead to a crisis. So, if you feel yourself going down the rabbit hole of negative emotions, don’t let them fester. Rather, address them head-on and establish means to deal with them, whether this means mindfulness techniques or even taking a few steps back to take care of yourself.
Set Healthy Boundaries
The holiday season, while joyous, can be hectic. It can also be a time in which you may be put in front of triggering situations and people that may be damaging to your mental health. So, it’s important to establish healthy boundaries before the season starts. This may include saying “no” to parties or other get-togethers in which there will be drinking or toxic people involved. It can also mean saying “no” to things that would otherwise overwhelm you and busy up your schedule. Don’t be afraid to put your needs first and make yourself a priority by setting your boundaries and making these clear with those around you who want to spend time with you during the holidays.
When all Else Fails – Reach out for Professional Help
Have you tried to do it all but still don’t feel in control of your mental health this holiday season? Mental health crisis waits for nothing and no one – including the holidays. If you feel that you aren’t able to control what’s going on, you can always reach out for professional help.
Synchrony Brain Health provides a neuroscientific approach to helping people manage mental health issues on an outpatient basis. If you’re looking for support for mental health during the holidays, find out how we can help.