Manage Your Feelings During The Holidays
How To Manage Your Feelings Of Anxiety & Depression During The Holiday Season
Ah, the holidays: the most magical time of the year.
Everywhere you turn you see picture-perfect advertisements and blissfully happy couples and families celebrating together -- and while this can be the reality for some people, this picture-perfect holiday is not as common as the media portrays it to be.
For a lot of people, the holidays can be full of triggers. And this year especially, the holiday season may be much more difficult for most.
As we’re in the midst of the holiday season, it’s important for you to know the things that trigger your feelings of anxiety, depression, and/or Bipolar Disorder so you can take the best possible care of yourself and enjoy the holidays to their fullest potential. Mental health is important at all times of the year, and unfortunately our anxious thoughts don’t take a holiday break.
At re:MIND, our goal is to be your support system. Keep reading for our tips for dealing with anxiety, depression, and Bipolar Disorder during the holiday season.
For managing anxiety:
Manage your expectations and assumptions.
High expectations can lead to disappointment. Hoping for everything to turn out perfectly can cause an overwhelming feeling of pressure and stress. Managing your expectations from the start of the season can help deflect intrusive thoughts and allow you to accept that things will fall into place naturally.
Practice self-relieving techniques.
Even though you may be changing your normal holiday routine this year, it is vital to continue to practice your mental health exercises to ensure you are moving forward on your mental health journey rather than moving backwards.
Take time for yourself.
It’s so easy to get caught up trying to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones, shopping for gifts, and making everything ‘perfect’ - but you should still make “YOU” a priority on that long list of to-dos. Having some downtime by yourself to check in with yourself.
Get help if you need it.
If you are alone during this time of year and feel like you’re suffering, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Treatment may allow you to see improvement in your life and allowing yourself to work with a mental health professional can make you stronger.
For people struggling with depression:
Pay attention to your symptoms
If you feel yourself getting triggered by certain situations or you are having a rough day, it's okay to take it slow or seclude yourself in order to ground yourself. Forcing yourself into these high energy events can leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Surround yourself with a strong support system
Work to educate your loved ones on your condition to minimize misunderstanding. It’s important to have a good support system especially when trying to get better.
Keep your plans simple
Try not to over complicate your plans during this season. You can’t be everywhere at once, and if you’re stretching yourself too thin, you may enter into a negative mental state. It is important to set your boundaries early on!
Getting a little bit of exercise each day can improve our mood drastically. So if you’re feeling a little sluggish try to go on a walk outside or do a quick 20 minute workout, simply to move your body as an act of self-love.
For people struggling with bipolar disorder:
Don’t isolate yourself.
While alone time is nice, too much alone time can be dangerous for your mental health. Even spending time with friends on FaceTime can do wonders for your mood!
Keep your spending in check.
It can be easy to feel like you need to spend a lot of money on gifts, but your loved ones will appreciate your love and time more than anything else.
Stick to your treatment plan.
Amidst socially distant Zoom parties and holiday activities, remember to stay on track with your treatment to keep moving forward on your mental health journey.
Plan your holidays with ease.
Give yourself some downtime amidst all the holiday chaos. It’s perfectly okay to skip certain holiday traditions if you aren’t feeling up to it this year. There’s no right or wrong way to “do” the holidays.
Forgive & take responsibility.
Holidays can oftentimes bring stress among families - so remember to be understanding and compassionate with your loved ones. They may be dealing with something you don’t know about, too.
Managing your mental health during the holidays can seem like an impossible task. We hope you put yourself first this holiday season, and we encourage you not to put too much pressure on having the “perfect” day. We’re wishing you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday! And remember -- if you ever feel like you need a little extra support, we are always here for you.