7 Ways to Focus on Mental Health This Holiday Season
The holidays are here, and they come with so many expectations: Perhaps you are spending them with your friends and family, or maybe you are alone this season. Either way, it's extremely important to manage your mental well-being during this time. Here are the 7 ways to focus on mental health this holiday season.
1. EXERCISE REGULARLY
It's important to stay on top of your exercise regimen: You'll want to do an aerobic activity at least three times per week and strength-training a minimum of twice weekly. This will help you stay in a good mood, even with the many stressors that too often come with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the many traditions and festivities that are typically associated with this time of year.
2. EAT RELATIVELY WELL
One effective way to focus on mental health is eating well. What with mounds of gingerbread cookies and peppermint candy canes, it can be extremely challenging to stay on top of your nutritional goals, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Don't worry though: It's not the end of the world if you have a piece of cake and a glass of wine on occasion; you'll just want to ensure that you're eating healthy, balanced meals when you are cooking for yourself and that you get a decent amount of green beans along with your mashed potatoes.
3. REMEMBER THAT IT IS OKAY IF YOU NEED SOME PERSONAL SPACE
If you're like most of us, you probably have a drunk uncle who isn't always all that politically correct and an eccentric aunt who is extremely outspoken about things you would rather not hear about, but the holidays are all about embracing family, so you'll likely enjoy connecting with your loved ones even though it might require a few glasses of wine.
4. ACCEPT SADNESS
This year might be particularly difficult for a lot of people: Tragically, so many have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic, and you may be someone who is spending the holidays grieving. It's completely acceptable to cry if you need to or take some time to process your feelings, even if that means you're not decorating a tree or attending all the festivities in your town: You're allowed to feel sad.
That being said, it's also okay to celebrate if you're in the mood.
5. MANAGE YOURSELF WHEN IT COMES TO ALCOHOL
If you have never struggled with alcohol addiction, then you'll probably be just fine this season. However, a lot of folks who have been on the wagon for a long time fall off around December: It's such a tempting—and often very fragile—time.
It's so important to take the time and space you need to manage your mind and reflect on where you are at mentally: After all, the holidays can bring up a lot of painful memories for some, and it might be really hard to navigate this year, especially with all the noise if you're surrounded by family, or all of the silence if this is a solitary period for you. If you are feeling particularly lonely or sad, you may want to do this frequently: It will likely help you understand your emotions more fully and be able to distance yourself from them.
7. ASK FOR HELP IF NECESSARY
Whether you are alone or surrounded by loved ones you may have complicated relationships with, it's important to ask for help if you need it. Aspyn Family offers on-demand coaching sessions so that we can help you navigate the ups and downs a lot of us deal with over the holidays.
We hope you cherish this season: Even though it is often challenging, it is also wonderfully celebratory in many cases. It could even be an opportunity for introspection, or maybe for you, it's all three at once. Whatever the case may be, we wish you Happy Holidays and we are here if you need us.