Holiday Mental Health Survival Guide

by December 12, 2012
filed under Life

Written by Sara. Reposted with permission.

If you haven’t realized it yet, Christmas is just around the corner. This time of year can be overwhelming. So today, I’m bringing you my “Holiday Mental Health Survival Guide.”

#1. Make a List & Check it Twice
Take 1 hour of your day today and make a list of everything you need to do for the Holidays – who you need to shop for, what you plan on baking/cooking. If you really want to be on top of it, plan when you are going to complete your tasks. For example, if you’re going to do Holiday baking, maybe you’ll plan to do that on December 15th. Take the day and do it.

#2. Budget. Stick to It
Don’t go overboard on your gift giving. Make yourself a realistic budget for each person you are buying a gift for. Remember, the Holidays aren’tabout gift giving; they’re about spending time with your friends and family.

#3. Shop During the Week
I get really anxious in the shopping-mall when it’s packed with people, so I tend to do my shopping during the evening, during the week – or if I have time, on my lunch break. You’ll find there are a lot less people in the mall.

#4. Start Shopping Now
If you haven’t already started shopping, I would recommend starting ASAP. Don’t wait until your local Wal-Mart is open 24 hours a day. (By the way, just because they’re open 24 hours a day, doesn’t mean you’ll shop any faster at abnormal shopping hours – just my opinion based on experience).

#5. Put Down that Christmas Cookie
I’ll be the first to admit I love holiday baking. I’m not trying to tell you not to enjoy the delicious baking, but just try not to overindulge in the sugary goodness. You’ll be on crazy sugar-highs, and when you crash it’s never fun.

#6. Sip or Pass on the Holiday Cheer
Holiday parties will soon be in full swing and for many, that means the alcohol will be flowing. For many people with a mental illness, alcohol brings us down so it’s ideally the best for us to avoid it. But given the holiday season, some will enjoy a glass of wine, a holiday cocktail, or a sip of champagne. Just be aware of how alcohol affects you. And please, if you drink, don’t drive.

#7. Go For a Walk, Make a Snowman, Go Skating
Make sure you get some physical activity over the holiday season! Besides burning off some calories from the Christmas Cookies, you’ll be helping your mental health. And for those with kids, they’ll remember the time you played outside after dinner more than they will remember the sweater you bought them.

8- Get Some Alone Time
The holidays are filled with family, visiting, parties, etc. Make sure you take time to relax and recharge your own batteries. Have a hot bath or shower, curl up with a book, take a nap…whatever. Just do you 🙂

These are just some of my holiday mental health tips. I highly recommend you watch as many Christmas specials and movies as possible. My favorites are the Charlie Brown series and Elf.

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