While many people look forward to the holidays as a time of year filled with joy and happiness, some people feel dread and anxiety. For some, the stress of holiday shopping and year-end work deadlines can be overwhelming. Having a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, can make the holidays even more stressful. Here are some tips for managing your mental health during the holidays:
- Take care of yourself: While it may be tempting to throw all of your energy into the holiday season, it’s important to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the day, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly to keep your energy level up.
- Do activities that you enjoy: It can be fun to host events and spend time with family and friends during the holidays, but sometimes this can cause stress if you’re not in a good mood. If you find yourself dreading social events or spending time with your family, try doing something you enjoy instead.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others: This is a time of year when we often compare what we have to what others have. Unfortunately, this can lead to feelings of inadequacy and jealousy. If you find yourself feeling jealous or sad about what others have, remember that there is always someone who has it worse.
- Identify your triggers: The first step in managing your mental health during the holidays is identifying what triggers your feelings of sadness or anxiety. Whether it’s seeing everyone else appear happy on social media or simply knowing that you’ll be surrounded by family gatherings, make a list of factors that make you feel sad or anxious. Once you’ve identified the issues that cause you stress, ask yourself why each one bothers you so much. For example, if seeing everyone post about their vacations on social media makes you feel lonely, try to limit your time online so it doesn’t ruin your day.