Eight tips for mental wellness over the holidays

Dec 6, 2018 | News

During the Christmas and holiday season many of us look forward with excitement to the hustle and bustle of preparation and time shared with family and friends. Sometimes however additional time and/or financial demands or a personal life event can overshadow the joy of the season. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), “Holiday depression, anxiety and stress can affect anyone at any age”, but all can be managed. Here are eight tips for mental wellness during the holidays:

  1. Budget-plan it in advance and stick to it. Using only cash or debit= no January credit card bill!
  2. Family-be realistic about family dynamics and accept what it is. Set boundaries with your family and communicate them.
  3. Overindulging-it happens, it’s the time of year, don’t beat yourself up. Schedule a walk or other activity to stay active during the holidays.
  4. Taking on too much-pace yourself, don’t take on more than you can handle. Decide on your limits and stick with them.
  5. Loneliness & Isolation-can be a concern for some during the holidays. Try joining a group, volunteering or look for get-together opportunities in your neighbourhood. If you’re able to, why not invite someone who will be on their own, to share in your festivities.
  6. Loss-spend time with supportive family and friends who understand what you are feeling.
  7. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)-symptoms may include-tiredness, depression, mood changes, irritability, trouble concentrating, body aches, insomnia, decreased interest in activities or overeating. Talk with your health care provider and/or contact EFAP (http://www.efap.ca/) for counselling support which is available to all employees.
  8. Year-end reflection-take stock of what went well and what you did well during the year. Celebrate and give yourself credit where credit is due.

If you’d like more information on the above tips, visit the CMHA website and you’ll find additional information and resources on the PHC Staff Mental Health and Mental Wellness toolkit here.

When you’re making your Christmas and holiday list of things to do, don’t forget to add taking care of your health-mental and physical health during this busy time of year. Put self-care at the top of your “to-do list.”


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