Don't Forget About Your Mental Health During the Holidays

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The holiday season is here. Soon we will be touched by the joy of giving, the presence of family, the beauty of the first snowfall and the “Hallmark” stories of gratitude and happiness. For a good amount of us, these somewhat “positive” experiences may seem more like reminders of financial hardship, grieving the loss of the loved one, stress and anxiety and a mark of your loneliness. These unwelcome feelings of stress and depression are common during the holidays, so it is extra important to pay attention to your own well-being. 

Acknowledge your feelings. If you are separated from your family or have recently lost of loved one, realize that it is normal to feel sadness or grief. 

Seek support. Family members and friends, social services and support groups offer vital companionship during the holiday season. Do not hesitate to ask for extra support during the holidays. 

Don’t abandon healthy habits. Continue to eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise, and limit your drinking. Don’t let the holidays become a reason to overindulge or be lazy! 

Take a breather. Save time for yourself. Spend 15 minutes alone, without distractions, and find something that clears your mind, slows your breathing and restores your calm.  

Forget about perfection. Although the holidays may seem picture-perfect, in real life, we cannot live up to these expectations. Learn to expect and accept the imperfections and carry on with optimism. 

Try something new. You should celebrate the holidays in ways that are comfortable to you, but it is always a good habit to create new (yet still comfortable) traditions and memories. Make sure you are doing something nice for someone else. Make sure you are doing something nice for yourself.