The holidays are a time of good cheer, good food, and time with friends and family. Often that is true. At the same time, coping with mental health during the holidays may feel more challenging than during other parts of the year. That could be due to the many competing demands the holiday season brings, an extreme workload that means you can’t unwind as much, or a complicated family situation that makes time spent together more than straightforward. Contact South Tampa Psychiatry at 866.273.5017 to learn more about our anxiety disorder treatment program and our holistic approach to combating mental health disorders.
Navigating Mental Health and the Holidays
Preventing overwhelming stress and mental health issues is the best strategy. While many things during the holidays may be outside of your control, try to go into the season set up for success as best you are able. Here are a few tips to help you navigate mental health and the holidays with that in mind.
1. Get in Touch with Your Feelings
Maybe your family situation is complicated. It could involve the recent death of a loved one. Alternatively, these gatherings include being around difficult relations or damaged relationships. Whatever the scenario, accept that your emotions are normal and understandable. Suppressing them or ignoring them won’t help. Forcing yourself to be happy or reflect the wider mood of happiness will likely only make it harder to cope with mental health during the holidays.
2. Avoid Isolation
Loneliness, sadness, or isolation may seem to define your situation leading up to the holidays. But they don’t have to win out. Seek to overcome isolation by connecting with friends or family, seeking out community events, or finding a mental health support group. You might also consider volunteering, as many organizations seek an increase in volunteerism to meet community needs as the holidays approach.
3. Continue Healthy Habits
Coping with mental health during the holidays will be much easier if you continue practicing healthy habits and coping strategies that you know will work for you. There’s nothing wrong with partaking in some holiday sweets, but continuing to nourish your physical needs appropriately will support your mental health. These practices include:
- Get adequate sleep
- Eat balanced meals
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid excessive alcohol use
- Engage in meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises to relax at crucial intervals
4. Remember to Care for Yourself
Perhaps it feels like the holidays are a whirlwind of attending to other people’s needs and whims. Remember to take care of yourself and carve out time to nourish your mental health. Maybe that’s reading, watching a holiday movie, or going for a winter walk. Societal pressure may indicate every moment of the holidays should be spent with friends or family. However, if what you need is time to yourself to recoup and recharge, make it happen.
5. Seek Professional Help If Necessary
If you struggle with a mental health disorder or find your mental health crashing around the holidays, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Persistent sadness, anxiety, or depression need not define your days. Contact your doctor or another trusted mental health professional to examine your options and get the treatment you need to restore your mental health.
Find Mental Health Treatment at South Tampa Psychiatry
At South Tampa Psychiatry, we are committed to helping our clients manage and improve their mental health. To that end, we provide viable mental health coping skills throughout the holiday season and beyond. With our treatments, we can ensure that you have the tools to thrive throughout December and beyond. Reach out to 866.273.5017 to learn more about mental health disorders and what evidence-based treatments are used at South Tampa Psychiatry to deliver exceptional patient outcomes.