Managing Your Mental Health During the Holidays
Authored by Rhonda Shinault, PA-C, PA-C, Bronson South Haven Family Medicine - Cooper Clinic
While the holiday season can be a joyous time of year filled with celebration and cheer, it can also be difficult on your mental health. With so much to do in so little time, it is easy to become overwhelmed by stress, anxiety and even seasonal depression.
Get ahead of possible negative feelings by following these tips for mental wellness:
- Plan ahead – The holiday season is packed with shopping, baking, parties and other festive activities. So, get out your planner and plan ahead! Set aside specific days for gift shopping, grocery shopping and relaxation.
- Set a budget – There are many expenses during the holidays, so set a budget and stick within your means. Before going gift and food shopping, decide how much you can realistically afford to spend this season. Your wallet will thank you later!
- Do not overindulge – With endless amounts of delicious food and drinks, it can be easy to overindulge. Be aware of what you are feeding your body and do not be afraid to say “no” to those extra rounds of desserts.
- Ask for help – If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), talk to your primary care provider about treatment options. You can also look into purchasing a simple light therapy device to use at home, which can help alleviate some symptoms of the winter blues.
Managing mental health is always a challenge, and it can be particularly difficult with all the excitement (and chaos) that comes with the holiday season. If you begin to feel pressure and anxiety, take a step back, set some time for yourself and check in with your mental health.
If your stress levels are affecting your emotional wellbeing, personal relationships, day-to-day life, work, appetite or sleep, it is important to talk with your healthcare provider or another licensed professional to get the help you need.
If you do not have a primary care provider, we can help you choose a health provider based on your insurance, location, medical needs and personal preferences—plus, schedule your first appointment. Get started online at bronsonhealth.com/findadoc or talk to a Bronson Care Advisor by phone at (269) 341-7788.