The holidays are hard for most people. Add on having mental health issues it makes it 100% worse. Holiday's are notorious for being fast-paced. The lack of sleep, cold weather, and chaos can bring anyone down. I tend to miss family members that are no longer here this time of year too. The grief can become crippling at times. Also, I miss my family members in other states that can't celebrate with me. The bottom line is the holidays are hard but also wonderful at the same time.
Money issues can also bring on unwanted stress for me. I always feel guilty that I can never afford to get my loved one's amazing gifts. Deep down I know this is ridiculous because no one in my family expects anything extravagant but for someone in debt this can add on a lot of stress.
Over the years I have come up with several different ways to manage my anxiety and depression that I thought I would share with you. So, no matter what situation you find yourself in this holiday season you can implement any of these tips.
1. Take some time to relax
It's important to recharge after parties and family events. Take time to relax in bed or on the couch with a good holiday movie. For holiday movies check out my post on my TOP 25 FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIES. Make sure you have silence every once in a while too. Too much noise and chaos can be overwhelming to anyone.. especially with mental health issues. Pay attention to your self-care. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you taking the time to eat? Drink water etc? These things are extremely vital to your health. Don't let the holiday interfere with your basic daily needs.
2. Don't take on too much
It's easy to get caught up in making yourself go to every party etc... but only end up doing the absolute necessary events. That way you don't overdo things. It's easy to become exhausted when you take on too many activities.
3. Keep your therapy appointments
Despite being busy keep all your therapy appointments. When it comes to mental health going to therapy is the most important thing you can do. This is a great place to vent your inner struggles and stress. Put your mental health first. If you don't put your mental health first you can easily crash and burn and then you won't be able to do anything.
4. Don't drink too much
It's important to remember that alcohol is a depressant. It will not help your mood. It's only a temporary fix when you are feeling down. Often after a while, it will make you feel even worse than when you first started drinking. Okay, rant is done.
5. Ask for help
Asking for help from the people you love can be extremely helpful. I don't know what I would do without my family during the holiday season. After all, the holidays are supposed to be about family. So why not lean on them for help? However, make sure you have healthy boundaries with your family if they are the ones causing you stress. It's okay to get up and leave. Distant yourself from any added stress. Remember that sometimes you can't please everyone. Do what is best for you and only you. It's okay to do that and it's not selfish. You have to make sacrifices for your own sanity.
6. Make time for walks and exercise
Even taking a small walk can help your mental health. Exercise is very important just like getting enough sleep. You need those endorphins. Sitting still for too long can get to everyone's mental health.
7. Make a budget
Don't overspend during the holidays. This causes me and anyone added stress. It's important not to overcompensate yourself. Making a budget beforehand can help a lot.
8. Take deep breaths
Be more mindful of your surroundings. Taking a minute to take some deep breaths can help a lot when it comes to stress and especially anxiety. It helps to reverse your body from fight and flight mode.
9. Try to keep a normal routine
Just because it's the holidays don't change too much about your normal routine. A change can cause anyone stress. I know that I thrive on routine. My body always gets thrown off whenever I stray from my normal routine. Anxiety is especially heightened if I change things. Keeping the same schedule during the holidays as best as you can will help alleviate anxiety.
10. It's okay to say no
If you can't do something remember you have the power to say no. Don't do anything that you think you can't do. It's important to plan ahead and expect anxiety. Keep yourself from triggers. It's important not to isolate though. That won't help your depression or anxiety.
At the end of the day, the holidays are what you make of them. Stay strong and try to enjoy yourself the best that you can. There are always people out there to help. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Never forget how strong you are. Even the strongest people have bad days.
How are you going to survive this holiday season? Do you have any good tips to add? I would love to know in the comments down below. I hope y'all have a wonderful holiday!