The holiday season is a time of joy, giving and love, but for some, it can also cause feelings of anxiety and depression.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the “holiday blues” are often associated with the extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even memories that accompany the November and December holidays.
The good news: The holiday blues are often temporary. Still, it’s important to address these feelings because they can impact your wellbeing and long-term mental health.
If you start feeling down this month, try the following:
Stick to a routine – Studies show creating and sticking to daily routines can improve your mental health. Whether it’s work, taking the dog out or making breakfast for your kids, have a reason to get out of bed every day. Or, create a relaxing bedtime routine that you follow each night (drinking herbal tea, reading a book for 30 minutes, turning on a white noise machine etc.)
Exercise – Physical activity is not only good for your body. It’s good for your soul. Even something as simple as a short walk outside can lighten your mood.
Learn to say no – and be OK with it. Self-care is connected to self-discipline. Be disciplined about your thoughts, behaviors and emotions. This will allow you to be OK with saying no because you have the bigger picture – a healthier, more successful you – in mind.
Take a break from social media – Whether we like it or not, social media influences how we feel. Don’t let it distract you, zap your precious free time or impact your mood.
Express yourself – Pick up an old hobby or find a new one to tap into some positive energy. Try capturing your thoughts through journaling, drawing, photography, or painting.
Appreciating the little things can also help you beat the holiday blues.
Consider joining our 30-Day Grateful Challenge (download below), where you’ll discover ways to make gratitude your new attitude.
Remember: While these tips are helpful, the most important thing you can do when experiencing anxiety or depression is talk with your doctor.
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy holiday season.