Surviving the HolidaysAuthors : Kimberly Harris and Kate Horowitz
The holiday season can stir up many emotions, from laughter and cheer to sadness and tears. It is not uncommon for those with mental health conditions to find that their symptoms can be a bit tougher to cope with during this time. From the stress of holiday preparations and gifts, managing family expectations and relationships, and having your routine flipped upside down, it’s no wonder you might be feeling a bit more Grinch and a little less jolly. You may also be grieving the absence of loved ones who cannot celebrate with you this year. Here at Strive, we wanted to share a few tips to help ease you through December.
- Accept your feelings. Take a moment to check in with yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Try to acknowledge your mood without any judgment. It is okay to be sad sometimes, even during the holidays!
- Maintain healthy habits. Enjoy some hot cocoa and time on the couch, but also consider how giving your body and mind some consistency through routine can be comforting too. You’ll be glad you fit in that morning walk and stayed hydrated.
- Set boundaries. Saying “No” and sticking with a budget can be a real challenge. You can’t be everywhere for everyone, and it’s okay if you can’t afford every item on your child’s wish list. Making lasting memories comes from the joy of the season and not from the store.
- Make time to connect (or disconnect). There is no better way to spend the holidays than by giving your time to the ones who matter most to you, whether it’s a phone call to a friend or visit to a gravesite. In some situations, we need to make time to disconnect from work and social media so we can recharge and be present for those we love.
Sometimes reaching out for support can feel like the most difficult step. If you believe that a social worker could be of help to you, let your Strive nurse or care coordinator know that you would like a referral. Your Strive social worker can help connect you with the most appropriate resources for you. If you are in crisis and need immediate support, please contact 988 by phone or text message.