Let’s face it: although the holiday season is supposed to be joyous, for many people, it’s filled with stress and anxiety. It’s totally normal to feel sad this time of year. If you aren’t close to your family or are unable to see them, the holidays can be triggering. And even if you do get to see them, you may feel overwhelmed about budgeting for gifts and organizing parties. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right tips, you can stay on top of your mental health. Check out this guide on how to prevent the holiday blues.
Though the days are getting shorter, it’s important to get as much sunlight as you can. Sunlight can help boost your brain’s serotonin — the chemical that elevates your mood. You should try your best to get 20 minutes or more of sun exposure on a daily basis. These are some great ways to explore the outdoors:
- Eat breakfast or lunch in your backyard or the park
- Set up an outdoor office table and conduct one of your virtual meetings from there
- When you have the chance, take a walk around the block
Try Your Best To Exercise
It’s been shown that regular exercise can have a positive impact on your mental health. The key is to start a workout routine and stick to it. Though it can be tough to schedule it in, you should work out for 30-60 minutes 3-5 times every week. You should be open-minded to trying out various kinds of exercises. If you sign up for a workout class and don’t like it, you can always move on to something else. Getting a personal trainer, learning yoga, and looking up YouTube routines are also great options.
Reach Out to People You’re Close With
Since they feel overwhelmed by all the holiday hoopla, some people choose to isolate and drift away from others. However, this could make matters worse. Instead of spending the holiday season alone, make an effort to reach out to friends and family. Chances are that some of them are feeling lonely too. Whether it’s digital or in person, here are some things you can do to overcome isolation:
- Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Pick up a coffee with an old friend and take a walk
- Write someone an email or letter (if you’re feeling old-fashioned)
Get Into Aromatherapy
When you smell and inhale specific scents, nerves in your brain are triggered which can improve some of the physical symptoms of anxiety such as heart rate and blood pressure. Aromatherapy can also be used as part of your meditation routine. Here at Scentered we offer uniquely blended scents that are purposefully blended to help you transition into your chosen mindset. For instance, our citrus and mint infused HAPPY range is designed to boost your energy levels and mindset. On the other hand, our DE-STRESS Aromatherapy Candles can help you unwind and juggle more throughout your day. With our myriad of scents and moods, there is certain to be a specific blend that can suit your individual needs this holiday season.
Set Boundaries For Yourself
The holidays can bring a relentless sense of pressure to participate and take part in things you don’t want to do. However, you can always politely decline someone’s invitation and set boundaries for yourself. You can either offer to reschedule or simply tell them that you’re not in the right headspace. It’s also okay to disconnect. It’s been shown that social media can be detrimental to mental health. Instead of always being logged on, turn off your phone, pick up a book or get some exercise.
Even if you incorporate new routines and hobbies, you may need some extra help to get through your anxiety, isolation, and sadness. Since these feelings can take a serious toll on your daily life, you should look into professional treatment. With telehealth, you can even have a virtual therapy appointment and online psychiatry consultation from the comfort of your home.
The best way to stop the holiday blues is to plan ahead. Whether it’s exercise, aromatherapy, or a therapy appointment, there are numerous options out there for you to choose from. Just remember to take it day by day and know that many people out there are going through the same exact thing.