Balancing Your Mental Health During the Holidays
It is estimated that one in three people have some sort of a mental health issue. When you’re sitting with a bunch of friends, and the people on either side of you seem normal … TAG! You’re it!
The holidays are a very stressful time. Many don’t have the bandwidth to handle the extra added burden of stress that comes with the holidays. As a psychologist, I can tell you that for some it doesn’t take too much, more than they already have on their plate, to send them over the edge. There’s more agitation, irritation, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression that shows up even though this is supposed to be a fun, joyous time. It doesn’t have to be such a difficult time. So, what’s the solution?
BALANCE! Remember, you’re not going to change the pressure and stress that comes with the season, but you certainly can control how you react to it. Here are the things that will help.
Exercise - Science has already shown that 30 minutes a day, at least 3 times a day works wonders. It gives you better mental clarity. It boosts your immune system. It makes you feel better about yourself.
Diet - This is a very tough area because there is soooo much good food that shows up. People go out of their way to make special things. You don’t want to insult them, so use moderation. As a foodie myself I can tell you that’s easier said than done but try as best as you can.
Gratitude - Be grateful for what you have, not sad about what you don’t have. I do gratitude every morning. You’ll be amazed at how it impacts the rest of your day.
YOU Time - Don’t hesitate to give yourself the gift of you time. As I’ve mentioned before, on a plane the flight attendant tells everyone to put on their own oxygen masks first. If you don’t, you won’t be able to help anyone else. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Get a massage. Do something just for you.
Professional Help - If you are really struggling, get some professional help. You don’t necessarily have to handle everything yourself.
In the end, life is about balance. The better balanced you are – mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, and in every other way – the less stress you will have, and the more enjoyment you will have. When you feel yourself stressing out, it’s okay to call a time out.
Enjoy the holidays.
Tikkun Olam- heal the world. Leave it a better place when you leave.