By Katilyn Thomas
We all feel stressed from time to time during the holiday season – there is pressure to attend social events, give gifts, travel and more that can take a toll on one’s mental health. In fact, a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly a quarter of Americans report feeling extreme stress during this time of year and 45% of Americans would prefer to skip the holidays entirely to avoid the associated stress.
This year may feel especially challenging, thanks to the COVID-19 Omicron surge across the country. The loss of loved ones, financial stress from lost jobs, and feelings of anxiety because of the uncertainties associated with the pandemic – are all impacting the way people feel.
If you feel anxious about finding a new “normal” this holiday season, that’s OK. It’s important that you adjust at your own pace and take care of your mental wellbeing along the way. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your mental health this holiday season.
- Focus on what you can control. The pandemic has changed a lot around us, and it’s OK if you feel anxious as a result. Control what you can to take care of your physical and mental health. If you are nervous about travel requirements, research them in advance so you feel more prepared. If you’re feeling stressed by the media, take a digital break for a few days.
- Keep healthy habits. It’s important to keep healthy habits in place no matter your holiday plans. This may include going on a daily walk, getting a good night’s rest or staying hydrated. Taking care of your physical health can help stabilize your mood, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and improve long-term mental wellbeing.
- Make time for yourself. Spending time with family or friends, especially if you have not seen them in the last few years, can be overwhelming. If you need a moment to yourself, try sneaking away to a quiet room or going for an early morning walk.
- Create new traditions. It may feel challenging to revert to holiday traditions from 2019, and that’s OK. Create new traditions that work for you and prioritize your mental wellbeing.
- Ask for help if you need it. If you are feeling especially sad, stressed, anxious or depressed, ask for help. Talk to someone you trust, a mental health professional or a primary care physician for guidance and support.
Whether you feel excited, nervous, anxious or stressed (or all of these!) about the coming holiday season, you are not alone. By taking small actions each day, you can make your mental well-being a priority.
|If you are a parent of a young child living in Crenshaw, Inglewood, Lennox, Mar Vista, Santa Monica, or Venice struggling with loss, trauma or economic stress, we may be able to help. Please contact our helpline at (213) 290-6113 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.