As December looms and we get closer to the holidays, life gets busy and temptations can be abundant. While everyone is ready to give out tips on keeping your physical health in check, we’re less willing to talk about what this time of year can do to your mental health. Things can get crazy over the next few weeks with so much shopping, decorating, and planning to do. Not to mention all those Christmas parties! It’s often the most stressful time of year, leaving many people anxious, overwhelmed, and depressed. Here are a few mental wellness tips to help keep your holidays happy…
Mental health tip #1: Be mindful of your finances. Set a budget and stick to it! There’s nothing worse than overspending and facing a January full of debt. Tally up all your expected holiday expenses – gifts, travelling, food, decorations – and be strict about what you should be spending on each.
Mental health tip #2: Be friendly but firm with family. The perfect family doesn’t exist, and many come with complicated relationships and conflicting views. Outline clear boundaries to help manage the time you spend with your family over the holidays. If a weekend is too much to handle, try spending only one day with a difficult family member. If it’s generally tense having people stay at your home or vice versa, don’t be afraid to book a hotel room. And if you know certain topics are bound to end up in disagreement, avoid the hot button ones like politics and religion.
Mental health tip #3: Don’t take on too much. Between work, family, and social obligations, it’s easy to find yourself pulled in one too many directions. Be realistic about how much you can take on and don’t be afraid to say no. While it is the giving season, you don’t want to give so much of your own time and effort that you end up miserable.
Mental health tip #4: Beware of overindulging. Christmas parties, family meals, and the cold weather can tempt all of us to go a little too far with the holiday treats. While this will certainly affect the waistline, it can also do a number on your self-esteem. A little indulgence here and there is good for the soul, but be careful not to send yourself into a shame-spiral with too much. And make sure to allow yourself time to be active to counteract the extra rich food and alcohol.
It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, so let’s try and make this holiday season your happiest and healthiest ever! Wishing you and yours the best.