The holiday season is here again! It’s a time filled with lights, celebrations, and lots of joy. But let’s be real, it can also bring some challenges.
For many of us, this season can stir up feelings of loneliness, worries about money, and just being really tired from all the holiday rush. It’s a key time of the year to take care of your mental health.
Let’s dive into some ways to prioritize mental health during the holidays, even when they get tough.
1. Coping with Loneliness
Feeling lonely during the holidays is more common than you might think. When you see others having fun, it can feel like you’re the only one who’s not.
But you’re not alone in feeling alone.
One way to beat this is by reaching out to others. Call or text a friend. Join a community event. Even volunteering can help you feel connected.
It’s okay to feel lonely. Reaching out is a brave step to overcome these feelings.
2. Managing Financial Stress
The holidays often mean spending money, and that can be stressful. It’s like everyone expects you to buy the perfect gifts. But your wallet says, “Hold on a minute.”
To handle this, start by making a budget to help plan your shopping journey.
Think about homemade gifts too. They’re like giving a piece of your heart and often feel more meaningful than something store-bought anyway.
Sending holiday cards to friends is a great way to reach out without spending a lot. You can include an invitation to get together for coffee during the week between the holidays, when things start to slow down a bit.
Try to remember that the holidays aren’t just about gifts. They’re about spending time with people you care about.
3. Dealing with Exhaustion
With social obligations, shopping, and preparations, the holidays can leave you feeling wiped out. To keep from getting too tired, make sure you rest and charge your body’s battery.
Don’t be afraid to say no to some requests and invitations. You don’t have to go to every event or do every holiday activity. Take breaks when you need them.
It’s okay to take it easy. Your energy is precious. Spend it wisely.
4. Navigating Family Pressures and Dynamics
Family gatherings can be like a roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. Sometimes, being with family can feel great. Other times, it can bring up old issues or create new ones.
To handle this, try setting boundaries. Draw a line in the sand about what you’re okay with and what you’re not. If certain topics make you uncomfortable, it’s okay to steer the conversation elsewhere.
You don’t have to attend every family event. It’s okay to take a break if you need it.
5. Overcoming the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed
Do you ever feel like you have a million things to do during the holidays and not enough time to do them? That’s being overwhelmed.
To deal with this, try breaking big tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Make a list and check things off as you go.
Don’t forget to ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to do everything alone. Sharing the load can make things much lighter.
6. Handling Grief and Loss
The holidays can be extra tough if you’re missing someone special or if you’ve lost something important in your life. It’s okay to feel sad about it. Give yourself permission to grieve.
Think about starting a new tradition that honors the memory of your loved one or whatever else you’ve lost. It’s a way to keep their spirit part of your holidays.
And if you need to, step away from the festivities to have a quiet moment for yourself.
7. Adjusting When Things Don’t Go as Planned
No matter how much we plan, things don’t always go the way we expect. Maybe the cookies burn, or the weather ruins your travel plans.
When this happens, try to go with the flow. Focus on the things you can control and let go of the ones you can’t.
Sometimes, the best memories come from those unplanned moments. And don’t forget to laugh. It’s the best medicine for when things get a bit too crazy.
Embrace Self-Care During the Holidays
As you navigate the highs and lows of the holiday season, it’s crucial to remember that taking care of your mental health is as important as any festive preparation. If you or a loved one are finding these challenges overwhelming, know that Northern California Behavioral Health System is here to offer support and guidance.
We understand the complexities of mental health, especially during this busy time of the year. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for the compassionate care and support you deserve this holiday season. You can also call us anytime at 877.717.0085 for a no-cost, confidential assessment.