The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate and commiserate with friends and family. However, the stress of the holidays can impact your mental health and wellbeing. For individuals recovering from addiction to those dealing with ongoing mental health issues, the holidays can be a difficult time. Yet you aren’t alone. During the holidays, everyone needs to pay attention to their mental health. So we need to ask, what are the stressors on mental health during the holidays, and how can we all be proactive. Everyone needs to take a moment and consider their own and others’ mental health and the holidays.
Mental Health and the Holidays
One way to reduce stress this holiday season and foster mental health is to consider changing your holiday habits. Perhaps this year, you avoid cooking and make it a point not to over schedule yourself. Many of us need control during the holidays, but sometimes it’s better to let go. Avoiding the stress and anxiety of cooking might be a challenge, but you can still help out at parties or family events. The key thing is to reduce the workload you put on yourself or to help others shoulder the burden.
When we stretch ourselves too thin, fatigue and irritability set in. Often, you can find yourself lashing out at your loved ones, breaking down emotionally seemingly out of nowhere, and even abuse substances like drugs and alcohol to maintain. Mental health means taking care of yourself so you can take care of others. Therefore, don’t over schedule yourself, and if you see someone else is, then offer to help. If everyday stress can lead to anxiety issues, then imagine what holiday stress can do. However, there’s always someone nearby to help.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Triggers
Even during the happiest times of the year, substance abuse triggers happen. Changes in routine, financial issues, depression, and the constant availability of alcohol can all serve as triggers leading to relapse. Being mindful of this can help those struggling with addiction, as well as those in recovery, make it through the holidays with their mental health intact.
The holidays bring joy but at the same time, provoke anxiety and stress. Having to travel and rarely having a moment for oneself can bring up intense emotions. The best way to avoid relapse is to anticipate your triggers putting yourself in a situation to succeed. If you are someone dealing with substance abuse, Remedy Therapy offers individual, group, and family counseling to provide guidance or just an outlet.
The Holiday Blues
Every year millions of Americans suffer depression during the holiday season. Mental health can suffer during the holidays. While some may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), others feel overwhelmed and stressed. These negative emotions can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. But even if the holiday blues don’t lead to substance abuse, it can be an emotionally draining and damaging time.
What is important is your resist falling into unhealthy habits. Travel and finances can prompt anxiety, but making a conscious, deliberate effort to get enough sleep and healthy eating can do wonders. Also, try to avoid setting too many goals or too high of standards for yourself. You’ll likely be surrounded by friends and family this holiday season, so don’t be afraid to delegate. Likewise, be unafraid to say ‘No.’ Knowing your limits means you can be at your best during this busy time. Safeguarding your mental health means you can help others, as well. Don’t be afraid to take care of yourself first, because only then can you be there for other people.
Commit this holiday season to care for your own and others’ mental health. As a safe place of understanding, Remedy Therapy is here providing you with the resources you need. To learn more about Remedy Therapy, reach out to us today at 516.414.2607, or contact us online. Ensure your mental health and the holidays this year are a success.