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Mental Mondays: 7 Easy Ways To Protect Your Mental Health This Holiday Season

Mental Mondays: 7 Easy Ways To Protect Your Mental Health This Holiday Season

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t the end of the year, we often let our guard down, and sometimes for obvious reasons. First, there’s the personal audit we run on our lives as we look back on the outgoing year. There’s also the hustle associated with the season that often deals a great blow –from the incessant calls from loved ones demanding attention to the stress of picking a gift. Yet regardless of the turmoil, it is important to protect your mental health this season, and once you do, the next step is to make healthy plans around your resolve.

In between the excitement, anxiety, and stress of the festivities, a lot of things can occur. Next thing you know, the entire holiday situation tugs at your mental health, threatening to rip it apart. It doesn’t matter if you have an overbooked calendar or the season has come to highlight your lonely life, you can make the best of your present situation by consciously creating memories you love and keeping your mind and body healthy.

Check out 7 tips to help you protect your mental health this holiday season…

#1. Know your triggers

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Photo: Yan Krukov/Pexels

It has become common to expect drama around this time of the year. The family member you’ve avoided all year is sitting across from you at the dinner table and seems to have a lot to say concerning your life. The strangers with an attitude at your vacation spot. The pressure to buy the right gift, cook the best meals, and stay on top of your mental health is real.

While it looks impossible, choose your happiness by avoiding your triggers. If it’s a topic, change it. If it’s a person, try not to end up stuck with them in a room or conversation. And if it’s a place, understand that you don’t have to be there.

#2. Develop financial discipline

Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels

Detty December will make its exit soon, but what won’t readily go away is the consequence of your careless financial decisions. The season has “spend” written all over it, and if you’re not careful, it’s inevitable to fall into the spending trap. One of the ways to protect your mental health this holiday is by taking charge of your finances.

Have a list and prioritize. Don’t spend outside your budget because of pressure. Say no to money-guzzling activities unless you can afford them. This will avoid the January walk of shame.

#3. Maintain a routine

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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

If you will protect your mental health this holiday, then you need a routine that works. One that is flexible enough to allow a little stretching, but firm enough to keep you sane. A healthy routine with exercising, healthy eating, and self-care will help maintain normality. If you are living with a mental issue, learn to allow these changes in moderation. A sudden routine overhaul is less beneficial.

#4. Say no to drugs

Photo: MART PRODUCTION/Pexels

If you’re a recovering addict, be strict about the invitations you accept to avoid a relapse. This is a merry season, and alcohol and other hard drugs can be easily promoted in the guise of fun. Even if you don’t have a drinking/drug problem, drink moderately, set boundaries, and learn to enjoy yourself without the influence of alcohol. Focus on food, people, and activities. Getting drunk isn’t the highlight of the season. Protect your mental health this holiday by looking out for yourself.

#5. Leverage your support system

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Photo: August de Richelieu/Pexels

One of the key ways to stay mentally healthy is by having a good support system. It’s not out of place to feel overwhelmed or triggered, especially if you are dealing with a mental issue or the season’s stress is just getting to you. In addition to avoiding spreading thin, ask for help when you need it.

Take the time to understand yourself, know your limits, and avoid burnout. That’s much better than trying to meet any external standard. If you are too tired to do a thorough cleanup and can afford to outsource it, hire a cleaner or ask for help from loved ones.

#6. Let it go

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

It could be traditions, emotions, or expectations, but if they no longer serve you, let them go and choose peace. If social media reminds you of what you’re lacking this year, take a social media break. If your family dinner has been toxic over the years but you’re holding on to the tradition, have a rethink. If you expect things from your partner knowing they never deliver on their promise but instead ruin the holidays, have a plan B. Choose yourself too and make the holidays work for your present state. Protect your mental health this holiday by purging yourself of the extra weight.

#7. Have an escape plan

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Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

The holidays can be a bit much, with lots of activities and individuals strolling in and out of your space. Whether you are at your parent’s house or hosting a holiday plan, always have a plan to escape when things become overwhelming. It could be a literal room you reserve for breathing breaks or slip out of the room for a ready therapeutic walk.

Featured image: Ramon Records via @aliciakeys/Instagram 


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