Lifestyle

Lifestyle

Lifestyle

The holiday season is well underway. It’s meant to be a joyous time of year.  A time of giving gifts, being grateful, and spending time with loved ones. And yes, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  But the holidays can also be a struggle.  It’s important to take care of your mental health during the holidays.

The holiday season can bring a lot of stress.  Buying gifts and traveling can cause financial stress.  Some people have lost loved ones throughout the year and this is their first year celebrating the holiday without them.  For some, this is a slower time of year.  But for others, they are pulled in a hundred different directions.

Yes, there may still be moments of joy during the season.  But as someone who struggles with my mental health, there are many challenges to face.

Mental Health Resources

I was surprised to learn that Georgia is the fourth worse state when it comes to mental healthcare in the United States. The study looked at the number of mental health facilities per 100,000 residents in each state. Georgia has 1.52 facilities per 100,000 residents.  With just 466 facilities serving the state, Georgia is 41.6% lower than the national average.

And unfortunately, South Carolina came in fifth in this study with just 1.59 mental health facilities for every 100,000 residents.  They are 39% lower than the national average and have only 84 mental health facilities in operation.

Mental Health During The Holidays

While it’s important to take mental health seriously year-round, the holidays can be a time where mental health issues may come to the surface.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all of the things we feel we “need” or “have” to do. And when we can’t do it all, that can leave us feeling guilty.

There’s also people who aren’t going to be home with their family for the holidays.  That can lead to feelings of extreme loneliness.  And still, there are others who dread having to spend the holidays with family members who they don’t have the best relationship with.

Stress, anxiety, loneliness, and other emotional ups and downs can really affect us this time of year. So, it’s important to be aware of the issues and take care of yourself.  Or maybe you’re not the one dealing with it, but have a loved one who is. Remember to be kind and patient.  Everyone is dealing with their own battles you may not know about.

My Own Holiday Struggles

Honestly, I deal with anxiety and depression all year.  And while there are good days and bad days, I’ve noticed I’ve been beating myself up lately.  It all started with decorating for Christmas.

I was so hard on myself because I didn’t get my Christmas tree up as early as I have in years’ past.  And even when I did get it up, I was struggling with the desire to even decorate.

Then there’s the issue of buying gifts.  I never know what to get anyone. Plus, I’m pretty indecisive so I’ll debate on buying a gift way longer than I should. And because I have so many people I want to buy for, I can’t really spend a lot on anyone.  To top it off, most of the adults in my life typically get themselves whatever they want throughout the year. So there’s not much I feel I can get them that will be an amazing gift.

Just last night, my mom texted about ideas for my step daughter for Christmas.  And immediately I felt stressed.  It’s less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I have no idea.  I haven’t bought the first gift… and I have no idea what to get anyone.

So, yes, there’s a lot going on in my life this time of year. And maybe it’s the same for you.  I figured I’d share a few things that I’m doing for myself to help my mental health during the holidays.

  • Deep Breath

    I’ll be honest… my mind starts racing and I can’t stop it.  That can easily lead to feeling overwhelmed.  And of course, that can even affect my sleep, because I can’t seem to shut my brain up at night!  That’s why it’s important to stop and take a deep breath.  I’ve started listening to some meditation/sleep music at night and focus on deep breaths!

    Young latin woman with arms outstretched breathing in fresh air during sunrise at the balcony. Healthy girl enjoying nature while meditating during morning with open arms and closed eyes. Mindful woman enjoying morning ritual while relaxing in outdoor park.

  • Sleep

    Yep, this is tied to the first one there.  But getting good sleep is essential for mental health! I’ve struggled for years to sleep well.  I am trying to make it more of a priority.  And I’ve also had to give myself grace on the days where my body just really needs a nap.

    Sleep

  • Move Your Body

    It can be hard to find the time and motivation to exercise.  But even just a short walk can make a difference.  There are definitely days I don’t want to do anything, but once I get up and get moving, I feel better.  I also have started scheduling my workout classes.  These are appointments that I’ve made with myself and I can’t cancel.  There have been days I wanted to, but I’ve pushed myself to get there!

    Move Your Body

  • Knowing It's Okay To Say "No"

    Setting boundaries is something that I’ve never been great at.  I’m also a people pleaser.  This means I’m always agreeing to do things because I don’t want to upset anyone.  But I’m slowly learning that you don’t have to say YES to everything.  I’ve turned down some events this year simply because I didn’t have the capacity. And that’s okay!

    Say No

  • Make Time For Yourself

    I think everyone needs a little time each day to themselves.  Do something you enjoy. And yes, if that means scrolling TikTok for 20 minutes, that’s okay. Maybe it’s catching up on a favorite show.  Or maybe it’s a hot bath or snuggling your pets. Just make sure you do something for YOU each day!

    Snuggle a pet

  • Get Support

    If you’re really struggling, make sure you reach out to someone.  This can be a trusted friend or loved one. There are also many great resources online.  It can definitely help to have someone to talk to.  Maybe it’s asking a friend to coffee or lunch.  Don’t isolate yourself!

    Get Support

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