With the holiday season just around the corner, we’re sure you’re getting ready to hang up the tinsel, put up the tree, and celebrate a cozy, festive season with your loved ones. The holiday season can be undeniably wonderful. It’s a warm, magical period, where you come together with the ones you love the most to give gifts and celebrate as the year comes to a close. However, although the holiday season is full of joy, it can be just as stressful for some of us. If you’re living with a mental health condition, you might find it hard to enjoy the holiday season the way most other people do.
Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, and other mental health conditions can make it incredibly challenging to enjoy the holiday season the way you want. Instead, you might end up feeling even worse than before, with no way to manage these feelings. If you’re starting to stress out about the upcoming holiday season, we have some tips for you. Keep reading below for the best ways to prioritize your mental well-being this holiday season.
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Seek professional help
In most cases, it can be challenging to handle your mental illness on your own. Without adequate knowledge, you might not be able to understand your condition entirely. There’s just so much information you can get on the internet, and you can wind up misdiagnosing yourself. It can increase your stress even more and make it hard for you to manage your stress as the holiday season comes around. So, the best thing to do can be to seek out a professional counselor who can help you manage your symptoms and keep them from resurfacing.
When seeking a therapist, you want to look for someone well-qualified and well-versed in various therapeutic techniques. A trained psychologist identifies what stresses you out most and can help you get to the bottom of your issues. Through careful introspection, you can keep these issues from bothering you in the holiday season and ahead. A master’s in counseling can prepare a therapist to handle a variety of issues easily. So, if you’re wondering what can you do with a masters in counseling when seeking a counselor, know that a master’s degree can prepare a therapist to handle your issues perfectly.
Spend time with those who understand you
The holiday season is all about hanging out with your loved ones, celebrating your relationships, and giving back to others. However, the holiday season also gets incredibly hectic sometimes for this very reason. Some people flourish in bigger gatherings, whereas others might prefer smaller, more intimate get-togethers. Suppose you’re struggling with a mental health condition. In that case, you might find it challenging to enjoy the holiday season the way you should, especially with too many people around.
Furthermore, people you aren’t close to might ask questions to make comments which you might find triggering. Instead of surrounding yourself with people who don’t understand how you feel, make sure to cherry-pick your company. When you spend the holiday season with people who love and understand you, you won’t have to worry about putting up any pretenses. Instead, you can surround yourself with people who understand you and support you as you recover. With these people by your side, you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary drama during the holiday season.
A large part of prioritizing your mental health this holiday season is keeping a check on yourself. With the holiday season drawing closer and closer, you might feel a slow but steady increase in the intensity of your symptoms. If you struggle with social anxiety, in particular, you can find the upcoming weeks exceptionally stressful. You might start to dread meeting people, planning for the holidays, shopping for gifts, and much more. Conversely, those struggling with depression might find it challenging to find enough energy to prepare for days up ahead.
If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, you need to know when to take a step back. Pushing yourself into a situation you aren’t mentally prepared for can bring long-lasting damage and make a recovery even harder. So, be sure to pay attention to what makes you happy and what stresses you out. If you feel that you’re doing too much of what makes you feel off, restructure your life accordingly.
Holiday seasons signal the coming of the New Year, which brings with it a fresh start. No matter what you’ve had going on this year, you can prepare for a better start as the year comes to an end. Focusing on planning is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated and focus on improving yourself. Having a game plan can give you much more structure and help you stick to your goals.
Planning New Year’s resolutions is an excellent way to plan as the holiday season comes around. When setting New Year’s resolutions, you don’t have to opt for something too big. Instead, make tiny, doable resolutions that will be simpler to keep. Something as simple as eating clean, making time to exercise, and devoting time to your hobbies can go a long way in improving your mental health for this year and the next.
Focus on your health
When prioritizing your mental health, you cannot neglect the importance of staying physically safe. A big reason why many of us can find the upcoming holiday season much more stressful than usual is because of the pandemic’s added stress. Although vaccinations and booster shots have made it safer to host gatherings, the risk is still there. Suppose you’re experiencing health anxiety this holiday season. In that case, there are several ways you can ensure your mental and physical well-being.
First, you can host get-togethers only with people who are fully vaccinated. Additionally, with some social distancing measures, outdoor gatherings can reduce the risk of any infection spreading. By encouraging guests to sanitize and maintain hygiene regularly, you can further limit any risk. These measures can be instrumental in prioritizing your mental well-being and having a stress-free holiday season.
If you’re dreading the upcoming season, following these tips can help you stay grounded and prepared for the holidays. Once you focus on your mental health, you can enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones, just like anyone else. Spending time with loved and understood friends and family can be a great way to start the New Year. Without bringing any burden from the past into the present.