What is it about the holiday season that stresses us out? The six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can seem like the longest, most angst-filled time of the whole year, even though the days are short!
Even if you don’t ordinarily experience anxiety, depression, mood swings or other mental health issues, itmay not be uncommon for you to feel a little less grounded at the end of the year. And if you are dealing with a disorder, the symptoms may be magnified right about now. If so, read on.
You may already have some coping mechanisms in place for when you feel anxious; however, as a small holiday gift, the Active Minds speakers would like to offer you some of their own tips for surviving the holidays with good mental (and physical) health intact.
Frank Warren: “My one tip for stress reduction is exercise. I feel like I get similar benefits of relaxation and focus from endurance exercise as others might get from meditation or yoga. My favorite workouts are spinning, pool laps and kicking. Don’t forget to hydrate—coconut water, protein drinks and even plain tap water are my go-tos.”
Meg Hutchinson: “Remembering to spend at least an hour every day totally gadget-free out in the woods – I call it ‘sky time;’ I also like to remind myself of Viktor Frankl’s quote ” Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Kevin Briggs: “Put some time aside to have coffee/tea with friends/family and let them know how important they are in your life. For me, December is also a time of reflection. Reflect on what you’ve accomplished the past year, and set goals for next year. Be thankful for what you have and give something to those not as fortunate as you.”
Kai Roberts: “The holiday season can become pretty hectic. During this time of celebration, be sure to make time for yourself. This reflection time will keep you calm and grounded.”
Pablo Campos: “Sing or hum along with your favorite holiday song or even some of the annoying ones. That form of expression is a favorite one of mine that helps me think solely about the pitch of my voice and the song and not about everything else going on around me.”
Colleen Coffey: “Be right here, right now. Every single moment is a gift. We get just one life here on earth. When I am overwhelmed I breathe in and out and remind myself what I am grateful for. I breathe in what is good and true and breathe out the anxiousness and darkness and remind myself that I am grateful to be right here -right now.”
Juliana Kerrest: “Curl up with my warmest blanket, whichever pet is in the mood to snuggle, and a good book that is for pure-enjoyment’s sake.”
Janelle Montaño: “As days grow shorter, temperatures drop, and holiday celebrations begin, I remind myself the importance of fresh air! Getting bundled up and taking a walk to the local coffee shop, library, or even through the neighborhood is food for my body, mind, and soul.”
Maggie Bertram: “Designate an ally who will save you from all those “what’re you going to do with your future” questions.”
So, no matter what else is going on this holiday season, remember to take some time to reward yourself for being an awesome person, and give yourself a gift–the gift of being good to yourself!