These are supposed to be happy times during the holiday seasons. Between everything that may be going on holiday parties, family get togethers, vacations, and celebrating the new year. The holidays can be full of joy, but they can also be stressful and challenging for those impacted by mental health, devastation, or loss of a loved one.
According to NAMI, “You are not alone”, as a 2021 survey showed that three in five Americans feel the holidays negatively impacted their mental health .
So, what are ways that we can care for our self during the holiday seasons?
Here are some tips to prevent holiday stress and depression:
- Take care of yourself. This can be done through self-care and forming healthy habits. For example, going on a walk, doing yoga, going to the gym, watching a movie, reading a book or something that can help you feel less worried and take your mind off a stressful environment and help you boost your mental health and deal with stressful activities.
- Ask for help. Talk with a therapist or make plans with a trusted individual, best friend that you can trust, or a trusted family member. Asking for help is not a weakness, it shows that you are strong and have the courage to do so you matter. If you are sad, anxious, depressed, stresses please don’t be afraid to ask for help. BCA Therapy has therapists in Wayne and Yardley that can help you today!
- Focus on what you can control. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. If something is bothering, you that is out of your control quit worrying about it and thinking about it, there is nothing you can do about it. This will help you relieve a lot of stress and help you focus on what is in your control.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Just because everyone around you is drinking doesn’t mean you have too as well. If someone offers you a drink and you don’t want to drink say “NO”. It is important to set boundaries for the holiday season no matter who is around. By avoiding drugs and alcohol you avoid an increase in depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Identify holiday triggers. Triggers could be people, places, and things that remind you of past trauma or upsetting events. Examples of holiday triggers could be traumatic memories, a narcissist family member, a loss of a loved one, stressful family relationships, or emotional breakups. To avoid holiday triggers put a plan in place ahead of the holidays to avoid these emotional holiday triggers. These plans can put a plan in place to avoid those triggers and help you reduce holiday related stress.
The absence of conflict does not equate to a healthy relationship. By avoiding conflict, you are not able to express your true feelings in your relationship.
When you store up your frustrations and keep them to yourself. This can cause you to feel stressed and anxious. It can also cause negative impacts on your overall health and well-being. Not addressing conflict in a productive manner has impacts on our relationships. We are not being honest with ourselves and the other people in our lives.
Disagreement happens in all relationships, but what matters is how conflict is dealt with. The way you deal with conflict can determine whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy.
Here are some things to keep in mind when handling your next argument way:
- Really listen to your partner can help prevent misunderstanding and shows them you are really paying attention and caring about what they are saying. Don’t interrupt your partner, don’t speak over them, don’t act like you know what they are saying.
- Develop your assertive side by setting boundaries, speaking directly and calmly, keeping message clear and understandable, and believing in your ability to handle the situation.
- Being calm and respectful during an argument. Be respectful, insult your partner, and don’t cross boundaries. If your partner consistently yells at you, gets heated, gets aggressive, or starts cursing then you most likely are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
- Welcome open conversations where you and your partner sit down and communicate openly about what is bothering them and going well in the relationships. If you and your partner can do this without retaliation and becoming defensive, then you are in a healthy relationship.
- 7 Tips for Handling Conflict in Your Relationship (joinonelove.org)
- 3 Ways to Deal with Conflict in Relationships | Lyra Health
Self-care for parents is not selfish, it’s crucial. You deserve to take care of yourself because, you deserve it! Each of us has a right to strive towards happiness and to value ourselves.
Taking care of your physical, spiritual, psychological and social needs will help you feel your best so you can be the best parent you can be. It’s important to set aside a little bit of time for self-care even when you feel like you don’t have a single second to devote to yourself. While there are many different self-care strategies for parents. It’s important to experiment with them to figure out which strategies work best for you.
1. Spend Time in Nature
Nature and forest therapy is a research-based framework for supporting healing and wellness through immersion in forest and other natural environments. You can participate on a guided nature and forest therapy walk.
2. Set Time Out of the Day to Be Alone
It’s important to give yourself a few minutes of alone time. Even if it’s 10 minutes each day that you set aside to relax by yourself, a little solitude can help you unwind. That can mean waiting for your child to take a nap or waiting until a friend or family member is watching your child, give yourself permission to charge your batteries with a little alone time.
3. Schedule Time with Friends or Family
If you schedule a future social activity for yourself, it gives you something to look forward to. Which is a good for your mental health and is a good self-care strategy in itself. Then, actually engage in social activity will give another boost to your psychological well-being.
4. Get Out of the House
That doesn’t mean going out to food shop or commuting to work. We need more than just our office space and our kitchens. Going out for a walk, walking your dug, riding a bike can reduce the feeling of confinement and clear your head. Consider having a parent night out once or every other week.
5. Treat Yourself
From time to time, it’s okay to treat yourself. Our kids get treats but shouldn’t parents sometimes as well. We can treat ourselves by buying a new pair of sneakers, going to a sporting event, going to the movies, or going out to get desert for yourself. Parent need treats too!
There are many ways to practice self-care for parents, we hope these ideas can help you think about how you can bring self-care into your daily life as a parent.
Do you struggle with procrastination? Is it causing you more anxiety? Here are some tips for overcoming anxiety related procrastination.
- Improve your decision-making skills. Having good decisions making skills can help you avoid procrastinating when you have a difficult problem to deal with.
- Head off fear that might lead to procrastination. Fears about falling can cause some people to procrastinate. By working on this fear, you may be able to reduce the urge to procrastinate.
- Break your tasks down. Taking larger tasks and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable actions steps can help you beat your anxiety related to procrastination.
- Focus on the progress not perfection. Rather than ending up bogged down in not attainable expectations of self-inflicted perfection, continue to build upon the progress that you made moving forward in whatever it is that you are doing. Finish the task at hand, and then, time permitting, go back to make it as close to perfect as possible.
- Set boundaries for yourself. No matter how much you want to accomplish, sometimes you have to know when to say “when”. If you find yourself taking on the weight of the world, at one point or another you will probably find yourself at the bottom of it. Before you try to take care of anyone else, try taking care of yourself first.