Holidays can add so much extra stress, it’s a time when your mental health can take a serious hit. Struggle less by trying out these seven coping skills.
No matter what holiday it is, it’s easy for feelings of sadness to rush over you.
During Christmas, you may be missing your loved ones. Someone you loved passed away, or your family is in another state.
And during the 4th of July, you may be sad because you’re stuck at work. Meanwhile, some of your friends took some time off and are going on a trip.
While it’s normal to experience holiday blues, you don’t have to feel sad. There are ways to improve your mental health during the holidays!
These tips should point you in the right direction:
1. Reflect on Happy Memories
You may be struggling because you recently lost a loved one. Or, the holidays trigger feelings of sadness over losing someone in the past.
It’s understandable if it’s difficult because you’re missing someone who passed away. While you should acknowledge your feelings, reflecting on happy memories can help.
Even if they’re not there during the holidays, it doesn’t mean you can’t honor them somehow.
During Christmas, you could hang a few ornaments that remind you of that person. Or, during Mother’s Day, you can go antique shopping because that’s what you used to do with your mom.
2. Get Outdoors
It sounds cliche, but taking a break from the busy holiday season and getting outdoors is good for the soul.
Breathing in the fresh air and having a change of scenery can do you a world of good. If you’re up for it, see if there’s a state park or nature reserve nearby. Even if you’re not a hiker, you can sit out in nature and meditate.
Get out and take a stroll. Whether it’s in your neighborhood or at a nearby park, you’ll be glad you got away. Consider making it a habit to spend more time in nature, and your mood will undoubtedly improve.
3. Schedule Some Virtual Calls
If you’re unable to be with loved ones in person, schedule some virtual calls!
“Seeing” someone, even if it’s only on Zoom, can lift your spirits. Don’t forget, kids can take part too! If you have a friend or relative with a child, it’ll bring you a lot of joy seeing their precious face!
Another idea is to have a Netflix party and watch a movie together. Netflix Party is now called Teleparty, and it’s free to install! Watch any movie or show together on Netflix, Disney, Hulu, and HBO and use their group chat feature at the same time. That sounds like fun!
Catch up and make a plan to have more virtual get-togethers with your friends and family. It’ll be the perfect way to reconnect and share during the holidays!
4. Limit Your Time on Social Media
Social media is fantastic for staying in touch with loved ones. But as great as it is, it can also bring you down. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the self-comparison trap when you’re on Facebook and other sites.
You may see families post fun holiday photos that make you feel like you’re missing out. Or, you may accidentally see a picture of an ex with his new girlfriend. (Block him ASAP!)
If some posts are making you feel bad about yourself, limit your time on social media. You hold the power not to allow social media to make you feel bad about yourself.
Instead, stay positive. Remain thankful for the things and people that do make you happy instead of sad!
5. Lean Into Your Religion
If you’re religious, use this time to connect with others who share your beliefs.
Go to church, pray, or participate in spiritual activities you believe in. It’ll provide comfort and help you form new relationships.
You may be new to your faith. Make an effort to learn more about your religion and get plugged in to a place of worship. There may be classes or get-togethers you can go to.
What’s more, growing your faith will help you cope and rely on something greater than yourself.
6. Spend Time With Your Pet
If you have a pet, now’s the time to spend extra time with them!
Take your dog on more walks or spend time playing with your cat. And watch a movie while your pet curls up next to you. Both you and your furry pal will enjoy having the extra time together!
Do you have a dog park nearby?
If you do, take your dog to the park and converse with fellow dog owners. You’ll likely make a friend or two, and so will your dog!
Animals provide lots of love and comfort. Be thankful that your pet showers you with love, especially during the holiday season.
Having a furry friend warms the spirit and makes you smile when you need it the most.
7. Create New Traditions
Sometimes all it takes is creating new traditions to change your mindset. No matter the holiday, it’s up to you to make it a good one.
You may be used to doing something a certain way in the past. Perhaps you went on a walk with your friend to see the lights, and they live in a different state now.
It makes sense that you’re upset that they’re not there to walk with you. But instead of staying sad, come up with some new traditions.
Make holiday cookies and go caroling during Christmastime. You can also walk around and see the lights with a new friend.
There are many ways to interject new holiday traditions. You’ll absolutely come up with some memorable ones!
The holidays may trigger a lot of emotions for you — some good and some bad. Even if you get tempted to binge-watch holiday movies alone, make an effort not to.
It’s only natural to feel sad sometimes, but it’s okay to find new things you love. Holidays should be joyful!
Create fresh memories during every holiday, and they’ll become all the more special!
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at 21Lux with five years of property management experience and many more in Customer Service. She shares her passion for her community and looks forward to making 21Lux the place to call home.