Tips For Maintaining Your Mental Health During the Holidays
For many of us, mental health is a challenge 24/7/365.
There are no days off from mental health conditions or adversity, and when our family, friends, and peers may be at their highest, people suffering from mental health conditions may be at their lowest.
We often see this phenomenon play out during the holiday season (roughly between Thanksgiving and New Year).
The stress or loneliness caused by the holiday season can make it a difficult period for many people.
Maintaining a positive mindset and taking care of your mental health during the holiday season is one of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for a mentally healthy new year.
In this post, SOCA and Anthem have assembled the best tips for maintaining your mental health during the holidays.
Use These Tips to Maintain Your Mental Health This Holiday Season
You face stressors all year long, but the holiday is a unique time that brings about unique struggles.
For many people, the holidays are the most stressful time of year. There are social gatherings, financial pressures, stress-inducing familial relationships, and more mental health triggers. All these factors can add up and lead to an overwhelming amount of stress.
There are ways to deal with holiday stress, but first, it's important to understand your triggers and what steps you can take to limit holiday stressors.
Triggers that Can Cause Stress This Holiday Season
Here are a few different triggers that can cause stress during the holidays.
The holidays can be a great time to reconnect with your family and friends, but large gatherings can bring together people with conflicting views or opposing personalities.
Additionally, it is easy to get exhausted when your schedule is filled with parties, events, and travel.
To help reduce stress revolving around social gatherings, try the following:
- Agree to set aside differences until there is a more appropriate time and place for a conversation.
- Focus on the positives of the event and those around you.
- Schedule free days on your calendar.
- Prioritize and be realistic about which parties you can attend.
COVID-19 has caused extra anxiety in many of our lives. This anxiety can often overpour into our holiday celebrations due to large gatherings and exposure to people we do not often see.
If COVID-19 is worrying you, you can try no-contact alternatives to allow for a safer experience.
- Opt for outdoor gatherings.
- Connect online with loved ones.
- Travel the way you feel safest.
- Shop online or choose curbside pick-up.
Unhealthy Eating and Drinking
The holiday season often brings exposure to unhealthy snacks and treats that contain high levels of sugar, salt, and calories. Add alcohol into the equation and it can be easy to see why stress levels might be on the rise.
Try these healthy habits to help balance out the indulgence of the holiday season.
- Bring along healthy snacks while you shop to avoid the temptation of fast food or unhealthy snacks.
- Nutrition experts say it is okay to allow yourself treats in moderation but be sure that you eat plenty of nutritional foods and that you get plenty of exercises.
- Try to limit yourself to two alcoholic beverages or less per day.
Things are getting more expensive and it can be a financial burden to find gifts for everyone on your gift list.
Overspending and adding debt during the holiday season can be a massive source of financial stress.
Use these tips to avoid financial stress this holiday season.
- Set a budget and stick to it.
- Talk to your children about their wish lists and set realistic expectations.
- Consider alternatives to purchasing commercial gifts.
- Take advantage of sales throughout the year.
- Start a family gift exchange instead of buying individual presents.
Traveling can cause a massive amount of stress for people during the holiday season. It can feel like you are always on the go, and it may feel impossible to find any rest during the holiday season.
Add to that, COVID-19 restrictions, pandemic fears, and travel staff shortages, and you may find that travel has added a whirlwind of stress this year.
Try these strategies to combat travel stress.
- Check current travel guidelines from the CDC.
- Arrive at the airport early.
- Expect long lines and have a plan for delay or cancellation.
- Travel the way you feel most comfortable. That means a longer drive in the car may be necessary if you are nervous about the crowds.
- Practice deep breathing, listening to calming music, or reading a book to help you find peace.
- Be patient and understanding of travel workers and fellow travelers.
For further reading, check out these tips from Anthem
SOCA Helps You Manage Stress This Holiday Season
Mental health crises and the holidays often go hand in hand. Employee health tips can help you manage your emotions more easily and help you prevent a mental health emergency.
When it comes to preventing mental health difficulties and major stressors, comprehensive small business employee benefits and small business employee health benefits are essential to ensure peace of mind.
SOCA is here to help this holiday season. We provide small businesses with the health benefits they need to help assist employees in their health struggles this holiday season.
If your small business needs a boost this holiday season, reach out to SOCA for more information about our SOCA Benefit Plan today!
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