Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
Holiday Stress? Learn how to make this festive season stress-free!
Though it may not seem like it in the movies, the holiday season can greatly affect a person’s mental health. Not only do stress levels tend to rise when tasked with gift shopping, or feeling the pressure to make sure everything’s perfect, but a lot of people also experience something called “The Holiday Blues” during this time of year.
The Holiday Blues can be defined as intense feelings of loneliness, stress, and anxiety throughout the holiday season, which can be caused from numerous different factors. If you’re experiencing any of these Holiday Blues symptoms, or are looking for ways to keep your mental health in check this holiday season, then be sure to take a look at our top five tips below.
Tip 1: Take some time to connect
A lot of people tend to feel lonely during the holiday season, as they feel that they don’t have anyone to celebrate the holiday with. If this is the case, spend some time throughout the month connecting with your friends or family. Plan a time during the week to celebrate, even if that’s just to have a cup of coffee together. If your family and friends are far away, schedule a time in your day to FaceTime, or even to just chat on the phone. If you don’t have anyone you feel comfortable doing this with, attending local events will help you meet new people and get into the holiday spirit, which will ultimately help you feel less lonely. A great option is to volunteer at a soup kitchen, the Drop in Centre, Inn from the Cold, or the Calgary Food Bank, which allows you to help others while also connecting with new people.
[Looking for an activity where you can give back but also connect with other Calgarians? Check out The Magic of Christmas for some festive ideas!]
Tip 2: Know your budget and stick to it
Shopping during this time of year can cause financial and emotional stress and in some cases leads to overspending on presents as a way of expressing their love. Unfortunately, this can somethings cause added stress, leaving you with even larger financial anxiety than before you even began shopping. A great tip is to always set a holiday budget, which ensures that there will be no stress surrounding how much you should be spending on presents. Or, you can decide not to buy presents for each other this year and show your love and appreciation in another creative way. It’s important to realize setting a budget and sticking to it will help your mental health in the long run.
Tip 3: Cherish the time you spend with friends and family
Sometimes spending time with family and friends over holidays can be overwhelming. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling swamped so you know when to take some time for yourself. But while the holiday season may be a lot to handle, cherishing the time you have to spend with your family and friends is the best thing for you. Maybe you live far away from home and aren’t able to see them often, or maybe you see them everyday. Either way, spending time with your loved ones is important for your mental health, and acknowledging that can help you feel a little bit happier this holiday season.
[Do you experience social anxiety? Have a hard time interacting with people? Don’t fear. Social anxiety is more common than you might think. Here are some helpful and simple tips to help you manage the symptoms of social anxiety!]
Tip 4: Take some time to remember
Losing a loved one is extremely difficult, and the grief can take a heavy toll on your mental health. Sometimes the holidays are a reminder of a loved one’s absence. If you’re experiencing loss this holiday season, it’s important not to ignore your feelings of grief or sorrow, but rather to acknowledge them. Make sure not to isolate yourself. Remembering your loved one during the holiday season, and maybe even reaching out to someone who is also experiencing grief during this time is a great way to help cope during this difficult time.
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Tip 5: Don’t ignore your health
The holiday season is an indulgent one with all those delicious baked goods, dinner parties and festive drinks. Overindulging is something a lot of us experience, but is not a healthy approach as it oftentimes leads to guilt and stress. Pace yourself while eating and drinking this holiday season in order to avoid the overindulgence that often comes this time of year. Some helpful tips are to drink lots of water throughout the day, as this will help you keep your body hydrated while consuming alcohol, and will help you recognize if your body is hungry or just thirsty. If you can, add some exercise to your holidays, whether that be by taking a walk outside or by hitting the gym. Taking care of your physical and mental health will ensure that you don’t experience those feelings of guilt and stress, allowing you to enjoy your holiday season in peace.
The holiday season more than anything is a time to be grateful. It’s easy for us to forget about what the holidays truly mean to each of us. We challenge you to make a list of the things you’re grateful for this year. It is a great way to recognize the positive things in your life, which will positively impact your mental health! They don’t have to be big things. Even acknowledging the fact that you’re grateful for the roof over your head or the food on your table is a great way to center yourself this holiday season and ultimately will help beat those all too real Holiday Blues.
Together, these tips will help you feel more at ease this holiday season, ultimately impacting your mental health for the better. Remember, if you’re experiencing feelings of loneliness, depression, or anxiety, please reach out and talk to a friend or family member. If you’re not comfortable doing so, please reach out and talk to a professional.
We at VictoryLab™ know how stressful the holidays can be, so we encourage you to take care of yourself and your mental health above all this holiday season. We wish you the best!
If you want to find out more about how VictoryLabTM can help your team or organization, click here.
(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018