Promoting Mental Wellness This Season
In a recent blog, we mentioned how difficult the holidays can be for those struggling with mental health. We also offered some strategies for getting everyone involved and promoting mental wellness during this season’s gatherings. This week, we’d like to take that line of thought a little further and offer some mental health tips for the holidays.
You Are the Measure of Yourself
In other words, resist the urge to compare yourself to others. When we’re struggling with our mental health and are surrounded by people full of the “holiday spirit,” it’s very easy to fall in the trap of wondering what’s wrong with us. We think, “why can’t we be happy like everyone else”? Remember that we’re all fighting our own battles and walking our own paths, and it’s okay to feel the way we do.
Prioritize and Plan
With holiday parties at work, gatherings with different groups of friends, and family get-togethers, our social calendars can fill up very quickly during the winter months. It can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially for those of us who struggle with social anxiety. Planning ahead and prioritizing the most important activities can alleviate some of these feelings. Alternatively, we may choose not to attend any gatherings this year. Some of us have unresolved family trauma. As a result, visits home can be very triggering. However, we will want to check our intentions here. It can be easy to tell ourselves that by avoiding parties, we’re attending to our mental health when we’re actually isolating (more on this below) and feeding our depression. Consider discussing the situation with a trusted friend or therapist to get another perspective.
Get As Much Sunlight As Possible
The winter months can be very dreary, particularly in the northern states, where around 1 in 10 struggle with seasonal affective disorder. Try to schedule some time to get some exercise outdoors in the middle of the day when the sun is brightest. Even a brisk 30-minute walk can help to improve mood and regulate sleep. You also may want to consider brightening up your home with some extra lighting. An SAD or “happy lamp” would be particularly effective. Alternatively, candles can also help to promote a warm ambiance.
We’ve talked about feelings of being apart from the crowd, unresolved family trauma, anxiety and depression feeding themselves. These things can all contribute to a tremendous sense of isolation during the holidays. It’s important, even if you choose to forgo holiday gatherings this year, to make an effort to connect with other people. Try scheduling weekly or biweekly calls with family and friends. This will keep the lines of communication open. And if you’ve been anxious or depressed for more than two weeks, you may want to consider speaking with a mental health professional to get to the bottom of what’s been bothering you.
Innovative, Creative Care
Creative Care offers a holistic, “whole-person” approach to mental health treatment. Our fully-equipped staff tailors an individualized treatment plan for each client with a blend of therapeutic modalities that will best meet their needs. With over 30 years of experience, Creative Care is an oasis for individuals who need the extra support, accountability, and direction to heal. If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, please consider giving Creative Care a call. Begin your journey to recovery today.