Holidays have a way of bringing joy and excitement into our lives, but they also come with quite a bit of stress and pressure. We transform into the best host and hostess but that sometimes leads to our own self-care needs being left off of the holiday list. The pressure to be joyful and social becomes too much to maintain especially when you are not feeling healthy within yourself.
Between the hustle and bustle of creating happiness for those we love, don't let stress be the Grinch that steals your holiday spirit. Medical and psychology professionals report that over 75% of all doctor visits this time of year are related to stress. Taking care of yourself is a big proponent of making the holidays more enjoyable for you and the ones you love. Here are 5 tips for maintaining good mental health during the holiday season.
Set Realistic Expectations
Someone once said "Expectations are predetermined resentments" and I have found this to be true, especially during the holidays. We've all been faced with disappointments during the holidays, particularly when our ideas of how things should be, aren't realistic. Our families are constantly growing and changing so expecting the holidays to be perfect is unrealistic. Honoring the changes that our families are experiencing can lead to new holiday tradition and rituals.
Celebrate the Moment
Being in the moment consists of establishing a sense of awareness, acceptance, and engagement with what is happening around you. Sometimes were are tempted to slip away into our thoughts and succumb to feelings that impact our ability to accept the gifts of the present. Try redirecting your mind towards active, open, and intentional awareness in the present moment, to get the most out of the joy in your holiday.
With all of the holiday goodies and visits from loved ones, your physical wellness can take quite a hit during the holiday season. Research indicates that staying active is necessary for good mental health. So, remember to take time to indulge in activities that maintain personal wellness, like meditation, yoga, or group fitness. Exercise is also known to help the body to produce natural "happy chemicals", which can make challenges feel more manageable and you can get more accomplished.
Clean Up your side of the Street
We've all have been guilty of brushing off conflicts with our loved ones. However, this can lead to resentments and really put a damper on your holiday cheer. Address conflicts and practice open and honest communication prior to the holidays to resolve tension and alleviate emotional turmoil.
Create Balance: Don't Take on Too Much
We all want to make the most of the holidays but it's important to know your limits. When managing tasks, we can be tempted to lean towards trying to control everything. Ask for help by delegating tasks to those who are gifted in a specific area. This allows families to establish a sense of connection, collaboration and leaves you room to attend to your self-care needs. People are more likely to help than you think, especially if the request is relatively small.
Written by Nisheba Parker, MS.
Nisheba Parker, is the owner of Thoughts and Things Therapy. She specializes in substance abuse, depression, anxiety, stress management, personal development. Contact Nisheba for an appointment at: (954) 903-1676.