The holidays are upon us! While the holiday season brings moments of joy and happiness, it can also bring some less glamorous feelings – like anxiety, depression, stress, mood swings, anger and even feelings of loneliness. While we know that most of these struggles can’t be fixed in a day, we have some practices and self-care tips for the holiday season that you can put into place to help get through the hard times.
We understand that many of the struggles listed above are serious issues, and if you or a loved one are experiencing signs of depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, contact your health care provider or use the resources listed at the end of this article to get help.
1. Schedule time for yourself.
While spending time with friends and family is always important, too much time spent in group settings can make you feel exhausted, anxious, burnt out or overwhelmed – especially if you are more introverted. With holiday parties every weekend, you may feel like a bad friend for skipping out on one of them, but your friends and family will understand. You need rest and alone time to be able to perform well in every part of your life, so make sure you are getting enough during the holidays.
2. Remember to move.
You can move through yoga, weight lifting, afternoon walks, bike rides, dancing or running! It doesn’t matter what you do, but try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. According to the CDC, daily physical activity can help reduce short-term feelings of anxiety and depression in adults, and it can help you sleep better.
3. Drink lots of water.
Wine and champagne are usually flowing at most holiday events, and it’s perfectly okay to indulge – just don’t forget to drink water! Men need about 3.7 liters of water of day, and women need about 2.7, according to the Mayo Clinic. Drinking water everyday can improve your completion, help with digestion, prevent you from getting sick and keep you energized, so make sure you are drinking lots of water this holiday season!
4. Take a day to declutter
Spring cleaning was months ago at this point, and maybe you have a growing stacks of papers or an overflowing closet that needs some attention. Taking the time to sort through, declutter and organize different area of your home or room can not only help you relax but it will also make you feel accomplished for getting something important done. Also, you’ve gotta make room for all the holiday presents that you’ll be getting this year! Out with the old, and in with the new.
5. Write yourself a love note.
The holidays allow us to reflect on the year and identify what/who we are thankful for. Before you write any holiday cards, thank you notes or love letters to friends and family, write one to yourself. Don’t act like this is weird, we all talk to ourselves every now and then. Take a moment to think about 1) what you love about yourself, 2) why you are proud of yourself and 3) how you want to grow in the coming year. Write it all down on a piece of paper, and read it to yourself when you are done. This is a simple way to practice self love, but it can be incredibly impactful.
We know that the holidays can be a difficult time for many people, for many different reasons. Here is a list of resources and helplines that you or loved ones can call in you need help:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline
The National Eating Disorders Association Helpline
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Alliance of Mental Illness Helpline
Crisis Text Line | Crisis Counselor
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States