Mental Health Tips for the Holidays – A Brief List

mental health tips

Hello dear reader! It’s holiday time again and with Covid in the picture it’s more important than ever to maintain good mental health. In this post I have compiled a brief list of mental health tips you can practice during the holiday season.

1. Plan Ahead

It’s easy to say YES to everything and take on too much during the holidays. Be very careful to set good boundaries and know when to say NO. You are not being selfish for asking for help with things. EX. In our house my wife is cooking the meal and I am doing the heavy lifting so to speak. Those crock pots full of food are heavy!

2. Take some Me-Time

During the holidays it’s also very easy to get swept into other people’s ideas of fun and festivities. This is you holiday as well – do something you want to do! EX. My wife brought me an inflatable cow we named Inflate-A-Moo. He adds a cute flair to our outside decorations and is solely for us. And that’s ok.

3. Avoid comparisions

Wether it’s on social media or on yard decorations, avoid the urge to compare your holiday with another’s. Remember you are only seeing one side of the story!

4. Pace yourself

Give yourself a chance to relax this holiday – don’t be afraid to listen to Christmas music, take a long bath, go for a walk in the winter air, or (my favorite) have hot cocoa and toast before taking a nap.

5. Try to eat healthy

Energy lows and excessive sugar can affect your mood, so make sure you are balancing out all those sweets and pumpkin pie with some leafy green veggies and protiens. Can’t go wrong with a nice salad.

6. Drink in moderation

While nobody is going to deny you a well-earned holiday drink, remember that excess alcohol can negatively effect your mood and your healh. Drink sensibly and in moderation, and DO NOT drink and drive. EVER.

7. Get (good) sleep

Try to keep a regular sleep pattern and get help if you snore or have sleep apnea. I cannot over-emphasize how important getting good sleep is for mental health. It did a world of good for me to get my sleep apnea in check.

8. Use your support system

It’s easy to feel under pressure during the holidays. Chances are your support network is having the same feelings. Talk to someone, even if it’s just to say hi and vent for a bit. You will be glad you did, plus the other person will feel just as good. I can safely say I would be lost without my support system.

9. Manage your expectations

The holidays are never going to be perfect; there are going to be hiccups here and there. It’s important to go into things ahead of time anticipating life to be a messy affair. Also try to go easy on those around you.

10. Re-connect!

The holidays are a great time to re-connect with old friends and loved ones, or even new ones. During this time of Covid, there may be those who are feeling especially lonely or isolated. If you know (or even if you think you know) anyone who could use a little pick-me-up, drop them a line. You will be surprised how much better both of you will feel.

Thanks as always for taking the time to read this entry! Hopefully the holidays are not as blue and a little bit merrier and brighter after reading these mental health tips. On behalf of the Behold Project, I want to wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season. For additional resources please check out https://thebeholdproject.com/resources. God Bless.

-Brian Caley

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