When you’re already suffering from mental health issues, every day can be a fight. Add in the pressure of the festive season, and you could soon find yourself struggling to make it through the holidays. Whether you’re coping with addiction or you suffer from stress and anxiety, the holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year.
The good news is that there is help out there to get you through this tricky time. Use the following advice as a starting point for helping your mental health survive the holidays.
Keep up your regular routine
It can be tough to stay in control during the holidays, but having a set routine can help. Make sure you go to bed at the same time, eat healthily and try to exercise as well. Even when you’ve got time off work, try to keep things as normal as possible and avoid the temptation to stay in bed and hide under the covers. Keeping your schedule full will help take your mind off the season so that you can just focus on you and your mental health.
Out of sight, out of mind
The holidays can be a tough time for a recovering addict. With social invitations landing in your inbox regularly, the temptation to relapse can be especially great at this time of year. The saying goes ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ which is something you can use to help you stay on track during the party season. If you know that a social occasion is going to revolve around drinking, you might want to stay away this time. Instead, plan other activities with friends and colleagues that don’t involve drinking, like movie nights and dinners that will help you enjoy the holiday season in a healthier way. Try not to turn your attention to eating instead – there are ways you avoid the temptation of holiday treats at Christmas to help keep your health and waistline on track.
Don’t be alone
When you’re feeling down around the holidays, or indeed any other time of year, it can be tempting to just cut yourself off from everyone. Even if you are spending the holidays alone – find ways to be around people. Volunteer at shelters or hospitals or speak to others about spending the holidays with them – there are places you can go where you’ll benefit from some company rather than cutting yourself off completely.
If you do find the holidays difficult, you should speak to someone about the things that you’re feeling. Get advice from friends or family or talk to professional counselling services like BlueskyPsychology – it’s much easier to deal with a problem if you talk to someone. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and reach out to someone over the holidays, the person on the other end will want to help.
Keeping busy and active during the holidays can help you to embrace it, and perhaps even enjoy yourself. Stay on track with your goals and meditate daily for the best way to keep your focus and not fall behind. Think about how you can make the best of the holidays; they’ll be over before you know it!