Now that spooky season just passed us, let’s not have it spook us up mentally through the holidays. Findings have shown that suggest people feel more stress, anxious, and depressed in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The holiday season can be a tremendously stressful time for many individuals who are struggling with a mental illness such as depression and anxiety. I know for me, personally, the holiday blues hit me different around this time. Although, it is my favorite time of the year, it isn’t like that for everyone.
The pressure of trying to do everything, planning the perfect holiday, traveling to visit family, meeting those year-end deadlines and the financial burdens of holiday shopping, can be enough to send anyone into a tail spin. Not only can this put a lot on those with already anxiety and depressive disorders, but it can also take a toll on those who have never experienced mental illness.
LET’S NOT FORGET ABOUT THE WEATHER!!
Let’s not forget about how COLD it has been? It isn’t even winter yet!! This makes me actually want to stay in bed in a cocoon and never get out. I would rather stay in bed, binge watch movies, and eat everything in my fridge then go outside in the cold! I’m not forgetting about the individuals who struggle with seasonal depression! I have read so many articles that because of the pandemic, it is projected to hit the people who struggle with seasonal depression this winter like no other. BUT DON’T WORRY! I have some ways to cope such as growing indoor plants, reading, writing letters, and painting! It is tremendously important to stay positive and not get stressed out during the holidays.
I am attaching an article that goes a bit more in depth with ways to cope here: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2020/10/29/pandemic-may-add-to-misery-of-seasonal-affective-disorder-but-strategies-can-help
I have come up with 6 ways to help stay positive during the holidays:
- The first one is wake up every morning and the first thing you do before you get up is say one thing you are thankful for. You can just verbally say it out loud or write it down in your notes! This helps you start your day off positive.
- Meal prep or schedule out what you’re going to eat for a week at a time. Sometimes it can be stressful figuring out what to eat then you just end up eating junk food instead of actually cooking a meal. (I am SO guilty at this one) Staying on track of this will allow you to eat healthier which allows you to feel better.
- Schedule down time. Whether this is just for a few hours or an entire day, write it down in your calendar and let others know you’re busy. Put a movie on, read a book, do what makes YOU feel good to allow you to decompress.
- Self care….. every day. Whether this is just to soak in the tub, put a face mask on, or go for a walk. This is SO important and I can assure you it is MUCH needed around the holidays.
- Journal. JOURNAL! The thing I like the most about journaling, is not only do you write down all of your thoughts and not bottling them up, but you don’t have to do it every day. Journal when you’re having a sad day, a happy day, need to get something out, need to tell a secret. Literally you can journal for whatever reason and it makes you feel so much better instead of internalizing things.
- Lastly, donate to a charity. It could be as simple as going to your favorite charities website and donating to it. Especially around the holidays, you could’ve just made someone’s Christmas!
The one thing I want to get out of this blog post is although the holidays are some peoples favorite time of the year, it may not be like that for everyone. Not everyone has a family to go home to, a thanksgiving to attend, or presents under their tree. With this being said, it is so important to always be kind and remind the people you love how much they mean to you.
Lastly, you never know what someone is going through, giving a compliment, paying forward, or simply smiling at someone could make their day. Be kind to not only yourself but to others during the holidays.