The holiday season can spark so many mixed feelings. While some look forward to this “most wonderful time of the year”, it certainly comes with a fair share of stress... tis’ the season for triggering anxiety! With the ongoing pandemic, it is important to discuss the impact this time of year can have on your mental health and consider the ways this season will be especially different for you. Here are a few key points to consider...
Take time to reflect.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is the exact reason self-reflection is imperative to our mental health. It’s easy to get lost in the busyness and lose sight of ourselves. Something as simple as a daily gratitude practice can help us to find our center and remain present focused. Meditation is a great way to pause and reflect! Check out some of the many great apps such as Insight Timer, Calm, Headspace, and 10% Happier.
Ask for help.
The demand for mental health treatment has skyrocketed this year. While treatment can be difficult to find, it is out there! Do not be discouraged by daunting waitlists at clinics or other barriers to treatment. Solicit the assistance of a supportive friend or family member. Remember - therapy is not a “one size fits all” situation. It is important to shop around and find a person you connect with. Furthermore, technology has given people the ability to broaden their horizons when seeking treatment during this time. Resources for virtual therapy, psychiatry, and support groups are abundant! Do not hesitate to reach out for support - help is out there.
While the holidays may look a lot different this year, there are many ways to remain connected to other people. Creating new traditions and being open to different forms of connection is so important. Consider arranging virtual dinner dates and coffee dates with friends and family members; or maybe making a donation to your local food pantry or clothing drop.
You may even want to start a journal and take this time to connect with yourself! We are lucky to live in this digital age, where social connection is at our fingertips. Of course nothing takes the place of true human connection, but we can do our best to improvise! There are several support groups that are offered free of charge for a multitude of issues. For some great mental health support groups, check out Mentalhealthamerica.org or NAMI.org.
Take a moment to break away from the chaos. It’s imperative that we stop for a moment and take inventory from time-to-time. Ask yourself, “how am I doing?” Think about what YOU need and HOW you can achieve those things. What ways can you connect with yourself? This year in particular, I have heard so many people say they are “getting by”. The pandemic has thrust many people into survival mode. What can you do to move from a state of surviving, to one of thriving?
Have a happy and healthy holiday season!