During the holiday season (November-January) we spend a lot more time with loved ones and frenzying from store to store searching for the perfect gift or outfit. As daylight savings time begins and the temperature continues to drop, we also find ourselves spending more time indoors. While for some people the holidays bring about nothing less than cheer this is not the reality for everyone. For some, the holidays can bring an increase in sadness, anxiety and an increase in demands. Whether the holidays insight positive, negative, or neutral emotions, you are able to take control. 

Tips to support your mental wellness during the holidays

Be honest with yourself.

The holiday season can be very overwhelming with the increase in social events and expectations. For some, the holidays can also be an emotional time. Be honest with yourself in regard to doing what best supports your needs. It is okay to miss an event if you need the time for yourself instead! It is also okay to reach out to supportive family and friends if you find yourself in a highly emotional space. 

Prepare and plan.

If you decide to attend an event that you are aware will be stressful, set a time limit for how long you will stay at the event. Also, take someone supportive with you to the event. 

Be mindful of finances and spending.

Utilize free and creative gift giving during this holiday season. Plan and set a spending budget to ensure you are not putting yourself into debt. Be mindful that creating debt will ultimately provoke anxiety and stress either in the present moment or later on.  

Try something new. Create a new tradition.

Create a fun switch in your routine. Try a new recipe with a friend. Remember, you have the right to spend the holiday season however best supports you!

Utilize time alone to recharge.

Self-care is so vital during this time of constant busyness and giving to others. Aim to be intentional about the time you spend alone. Ask yourself, what do YOU truly need in this moment?

Seek support through psychotherapy.

Talk therapy can provide support in identifying patterns of seasonal depression, holiday triggers and anxiety. Additionally, you may benefit from having support from a professional in creating new coping strategies. 

These tips were crafted to support you in taking care of yourself a little extra during this time. The holiday season does not have to be blue; it may just be time to give new, more healthy strategies a try! Whether you spend the holiday season with family, friends, or enjoying time alone, it is important to be mindful of your emotions during this time. Giving back within your community and goal setting for the new year are additional ways to support a positive mind space. 

-Shakyra King