The holiday season can present a vast array of demands. Whether you are shopping, attending parties, entertaining and taking part in holiday activities, or you are dealing with feelings of past holidays and coping with loneliness, here are some tips to get you through the upcoming season.
1. Plan Ahead. Consider what you have learned from past holidays and what you need in order to get through the upcoming season. Break off duties into smaller, manageable chunks to avoid last minute stress. Set yourself up for the most stress free holiday yet!
2. Have realistic expectations. Celebrations often do not go as planned. Multiple obligations, difficult weather and a multitude of other factors can get in the way of the best laid plans for a perfect holiday. Allow yourself to be flexible. For example if family members cannot make it this year, plan another enjoyable activity with a friend or attend a community event.
3. Practice saying no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity.
4. Don’t let your healthy habits slide. Don’t forget about the top three signs of health: diet, sleep and exercise. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Get plenty of sleep and incorporate regular physical activity into each day.
5. Make some time for yourself. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm. Even 15 minutes can make a difference.
6. Seek out support. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering can be a great way to lift your spirits and share in holiday activities for a good cause.
This mental health tip is brought to you by our Georgina NPLC mental health professional.