Mental Health During the Holidays
The holiday season means parties, family gatherings, eating more food than usual, and spending time with people you love. People are expected to spend this special time with their families, but it can be challenging for those struggling with mental illness. The struggle with mental health, especially during the holidays, is genuine.
That’s why we want to make it a bit easier this year. To help you enjoy your time with family and friends, we’ve put together these tips.
Take care of yourself.
The last two years were some of the toughest that we have faced. Not only has COVID affected people physically, but the isolation and distancing measures have harmed people mentally as well. Most people are still recovering. Mental illness is something that takes time to recover from. However, your mental health must be cared for just as much, if not more, than physical well-being. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first, even if it means disappointing others. Make sure to take care of yourselves this holiday season because mental health cannot be ignored.
Give yourself time to adjust.
The holiday season is full of hope and optimism because there are so many things happening. Unfortunately, expectations can lead to alienation and disappointment. We all have good intentions, but sometimes we set the bar too high. Try not to put pressure on yourself. While you might want to spend Christmas with your family, consider that spending time with them can be overwhelming, so give yourself time to adjust.
Put yourself first.
For anyone to have good mental health, they must take care of themselves first and foremost. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you try to take care of everyone else while neglecting your needs.
Remember, you are important too.
Acknowledge the holidays are difficult for you.
You don’t have to pretend that everything is perfect.
Let your family and friends know what you are going through to get the support you need. For example, you can say, “It’s been tough because I’ve had to distance myself from people during the holidays. Sadly, I don’t have my family here with me, but I hope we can spend some time together.”
Give yourself time, space, and understanding.
Don’t push yourself to the limit. Mental health needs time, space, and understanding, so do your best not to pressure yourself. For example, you might say, “I know the holidays are about family and togetherness, but I can’t make it to dinner next week. Maybe we can schedule something for later.”
To have a strong foundation, you must take care of yourself.
Mental health is something that needs to be taken care of just as much as physical health. For example, you can say, “I’m going to take some time for myself this holiday season. I promise I’ll be back to spend New Year’s with you all.” Mental health during the holidays can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be that way if we take some time for ourselves and show that we care. Mental health is essential to everyone and should be a priority.
Have a plan and escape route in case you need it.
If there is an emergency, you need to know what to do. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so act accordingly if any situation arises. For example, you can say, “I’m getting a little overwhelmed, so I’m going to call it a night. If I need someone, I’ll text you.”
Take care of yourself this holiday season.
We know that the holiday season can be challenging, but hopefully, these tips will help you. For more helpful tips to put your mental health first, check out more helpful resources at Think Before You Sleep.