be true to yourself,
and if you cannot put your heart in it,
take yourself out of it.
Hardy D. Jackson
The holidays can be very challenging times for people. You may have concerns about gaining weight, family members with its attendant rifts and dysfunction, work, money, and all kinds of other things. The good news is that, even with all of these concerns, you can still keep your mental health strong and vibrant during the holidays.
You can have great joy during the busiest of times by choosing to make some positive choices. Joy comes from within you, and taking control of your life brings you both confidence and joy. During the holiday season, though, it can seem like your life easily gets out of balance. There always seems to be so much to do, and people are generally more demanding of your time, energy and finances.
Here are a few tips for protecting and preserving your mental health during the holidays:
1. Get some quiet time. Always remember the value of your quiet time, you downtime. One of the biggest stressors you may have to deal with when the holidays are in full swing is the lack of personal time. It is very easy to get wrapped up in everyone else’s drama and not take any time for yourself. Take time for yourself so that you have the energy to pour into others.
Take a few minutes each day to unwind and relax. You’ll be happier and more interested in doing things with others.
2. Inner peace. Carve out time to pursue your inner peace. You can pray, meditate, exercise, journal, or just sit and watch some television or read a book. No matter what you do in your downtime, remember that having that time is vital to your well-being.
3. All things, including the busyness of the holidays, are temporary
The holidays require more of your time and effort, but the season will quickly pass. Keep your head up when you are doing all the extra things you have to do. Those extras will only be required for a few weeks. Things will get back to normal and your balance will be more easily restored.
4. Step back to routine. If you are having trouble coping with the holiday season, do the things you would normally do when the holidays are over. That way, you will feel more focused and your routine will feel more familiar to you.
- Exercise each day to stay fit and work off accumulated stress
- Get your work done on time, so you are feeling so frustrated and overly busy at home
- Keep your house picked up, so that you will have less clutter to deal with after the holidays are over
- Eat right to provide your body with the fuel it needs for energy
- Plan something special so that you can relax after the holidays are over
5. Use affirmations liberally. There are plenty of ways you can keep your mental health strong. You can even say affirmations to yourself every day in order to help maintain your positive attitude. This may feel silly at first, but you will soon see the benefits of incorporating positive thinking into your daily routine. Take a few minutes each morning when you get up and before you go to bed to compliment yourself.
I also have several of my regular affirmations posted in my office at work and around my home. These help me keep my focus.
Your mental health and strength is very important to you and the people who rely on you. Because of this, you need to keep yourself fresh and energized during the holiday season. Focusing on what matters to you and paying attention to what is truly important go a very long way toward keeping you mentally healthy.
To your continued success!