The holiday season is generally known as a time surrounded my family and friends in celebration.
Most people look forward to it, but some may find it challenging for different reasons. You’re not alone if you find yourself feeling down. It is common for people to experience:
- a sense of loss
- feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Looking after your mental and emotional health is a priority. There are several ways you can do this and find – and give joy – these holidays:
- Stay connected – If you can, stay close to trusted family and friends. If you can’t physically be with the ones you love, try staying connected by phone or digital platforms. Look out for others and check in with friends and people in the community who may also be feeling alone.
- Look after your physical health – Make sure you are eating healthily and getting enough sleep. Practice ways to slow down your body and mind to bring stress levels down. You can do this by making meditation or deep breathing exercises a part of your day.
- Be in touch with your emotions – It is okay to not be okay, especially when you are not in your usual routine and you may not get to see your friends, teachers or workmates every day. This can leave you feeling isolated, lonely, and upset or anxious. We are more likely to be critical of ourselves when we feel down or ashamed, so remember to practice self-compassion – speak to yourself with kindness and love.
- Limit or take a break from social media – Mindfully limiting or taking breaks from social media can save you from comparing others’ experiences to your own. For some, placing firm limits and boundaries around social media use can be imperative for protecting your mental health during the holiday season.
- Speak out if you need help – Sometimes our own efforts to improve our holiday-related stress or our emotional health around this time of year are not enough. When this happens it’s important to give yourself permission to ask for help and connect with the support services that are available. Getting professional help can make a big difference.
Visit the Head to Health website for more tips on how you can support your mental and emotional wellbeing.