Managing Your Mental Health During the Holiday Season
Set realistic expectations. People compare the current year to previous years throughout the holiday season, yet, life evolves. We cannot expect the holidays to be the same as they were previously, especially given the current epidemic. Set reasonable expectations for yourself and your holiday plans. Don't make comparisons to previous years. Concentrate on what you can do to make this holiday season as enjoyable as possible.
Maintain your healthy behaviors. Building on the previous point, do not forsake your healthy habits. Keep doing what you're doing if you're limiting your drinking. A healthy, well-balanced diet is also essential for stress management - avoid foods heavy in additives, sugar, caffeine, and salt, and don't miss meals. Increase your intake of foods that provide long-lasting energy such as veggies and whole grains.
Moreover, getting enough sleep is a crucial element of coping with stress. Good sleep habits include going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, avoiding naps throughout the day, limiting caffeine use, and having a soothing ritual before bed. Lastly, set aside some time every day for movement. Once a day, stretch for an hour and get your heart rate up. Exercise has been demonstrated to generate endorphins which can help to relieve stress and anxiety. The immune system is also stimulated by endorphins - it additionally helps to alleviate stress which lowers the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
Let go of perfectionism. Stress may be increased by having unreasonably high standards or expectations - so even if things aren't ideal, learn to let go. Learn to be less critical of yourself. Aiming for perfection will almost certainly result in a lot of stress. Perfection is an unattainable aim - since perfection is unattainable, you will inevitably fall short, causing even more distress, so, this Holiday season (and all year), keep the broad picture in mind and don't get too caught up in the details. Not everything will be great, but there will undoubtedly be some positive aspects. Instead of concentrating on what isn't “perfect”, acknowledge what is.
Recognize your emotions. There are a variety of reasons to be upset over the holidays. It's very normal to feel this way - recognize how you're feeling and reassure yourself that your feelings are genuine. The longer you keep them pent up, the worse they'll get.
As the holidays approach, it's essential to keep your mental health and that of your loved ones in check. Regularly check on yourself and others around you. As much as you can, lend a hand, but don't go overboard. The holidays are a once-a-year occasion that should be savored as much as possible, especially if spent with loved ones.
We are open and operational even during the holidays. If you or someone you care about has been struggling with mental health in recent days, please contact us at (949) 200-7929. We will gladly assist you.
Emerson Levine, CADC II Intake and Discharge Manager