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Take Small Steps to Take Care of Yourself this Holiday Season!

In Featured, Mental Health Resources, Seasonal Favorite by eri

This holiday season, more than any other, may not live up to expectations of what the holidays “should” be. We are, after all, in the middle of a pandemic, and health officials are strongly urging we adjust our holiday celebrations to protect the health of ourselves and those we love.

Many people have felt stressed and isolated during these past months, and those feelings may become more intense during the holidays. This holiday season, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself emotionally.

Here are some small steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress and isolation you may be feeling this holiday season.

Manage Your Feelings

Take one step at a time to help manage your feelings. Your emotions may feel like you are on a roller coaster. Try to stop, take stock of your feelings, and do something for yourself. You can:

  • Set boundaries with your loved ones. If you need to socially distance, or can’t afford a gift, tell them and stick to what is best for you.
  • Give yourself time to cry, even if only for a minute.
  • Allow yourself to rest. Whether it’s giving yourself more time to sleep or taking a short break during the day, rest helps you handle stress.
  • Don’t cling to perfectionism. Let yourself simply be in a moment and accept it for what it is. Breathing exercises can be a great way to reorient when you’re feeling stressed.

Reach Out to Others, Virtually

If possible, reach out virtually to your family or to the community. Social support is key during the holidays, especially if you are feeling lonely. If you don’t have traditional family and friendship support, you can:

  • Reach out to someone else who may be lonely. It could be someone you haven’t contacted in a long time. You never know if a call may make their day as much as yours.
  • Join a support group. Support groups are available in many communities and provide a great way to reach out. Healthfinder.gov is a good place to start.
  • Look into using a mental health app on your smartphone. They can provide useful support and resources, and many are free.
  • Be a virtual volunteer. Helping those in need can be a great way to connect yourself with the community. Volunteer Match could be a good place to start learning about virtual volunteer opportunities.

Keep Expectations Realistic

Keep expectations realistic for yourself, no matter what steps you take. If you can do only one of these steps, start small and work your way up. If you’re feeling more ambitious, take on what you know you can handle, and keep things real. Try not to overcommit, and if you do, then don’t beat yourself up if things don’t turn out perfect.

Taking small steps to take care of yourself can make a big difference. If this holiday season isn’t what you expected and you’re feeling blue, use these suggestions to take extra good care of yourself.

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