The holidays can be stressful. Preparing, driving to several places, speaking with friends and family you haven’t seen in awhile – it can really take a toll on your mental health. Making the decision to place your mental health as priority will help you to enjoy the holidays better and make more lasting memories to cherish for years to come. As America’s Next Top Model contestant Sarah Hartshorne stated for the mental health organization Project UROK, “Self-care is not selfish.” The following is a guide to keep you happy and mentally healthy during the holidays:
- Stick to some sort of routine. Several changes in routine can cause additional stress and anxiety. At the very least, try to enact your typical morning routine and ensure that you get home at a decent hour to get good sleep.
- Set healthy boundaries for yourself. Asking for what you want/need, saying “no” without feeling guilty, saying “yes” because you want to and not out of obligation, feeling empowered to skip certain events or stay early/leave late, and expressing your feelings in an assertive and respectful way are just a few rules that you should set for yourself. Giving yourself permission beforehand will make enacting them much easier when the time comes.
- If you don’t want to be alone, don’t be. Whether or not you have somewhere to go for the holidays, make plans to volunteer or attend a holiday event if you don’t have people to spend it with yet. Being surrounded by others and making new friends is a wonderful way to kick off the holidays, anyways!
- Moderate yourself. Decide on a limit to how much you want to drink, and if you don’t want to – give yourself permission to say no. Since alcohol is a mind-altering chemical, you may want to abstain from alcohol entirely. If you are sober and in recovery from alcoholism, create a plan to turn down offers and indulge in other ways.
- Focus on today, not on the past. The holidays tend to be a time for many to reflect on the past, which can easily turn negative if you have lost someone, gone through a breakup, or had upsetting childhood events. Allow yourself to feel the freedom and empowerment of the present. Take hold of what you can control today.
New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment centers. We believe in holistic recovery, meaning that we will work with you to restore and rebalance your mind, body, and spirit. Our treatment centers have several different methods to choose from, so we can determine which methods best suit your needs. Call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation.