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Six Ways to Safeguard Your Mental Well-being this Holiday Season

Updated: Jan 16


Mental Well-being

The holiday season, often hailed as a time of joy and merriment, can paradoxically bring about heightened stress and mental health challenges for many. According to surveys, a significant percentage of people report feelings of anxiety, depression, conflict with family or even isolation during this festive period.


As the holidays approach, it becomes crucial to adopt strategies that protect and nurture your mental well-being. Here are six ways to safeguard your mental health during the holiday season, with a special emphasis on the benefits of seeking support from a psychotherapist.






1. Unraveling Expectation Knots

Unraveling Expectation Knots

The pressure to conform to a picture-perfect holiday narrative can be overwhelming. Dissect these expectations and challenge the conventional norms:


Embrace Your Choices: You are not obligated to celebrate the holidays if they don't align with your values or traditions. Take the time to reassess and make choices that resonate with your authentic self.


Set Boundaries: If family traditions or gatherings become sources of stress, don't hesitate to set boundaries. Politely decline activities that don't align with your mental well-being, and prioritize self-care.



Rediscover Joy: Reflect on what you genuinely love about the holidays and focus on those aspects. It's your celebration, and you have the power to redefine and reclaim it.


Know what you need to do but struggling with putting it in action? Psychotherapy can be a place to help support you in putting those needs into action. Book in a free no obligation 15 minute consultation today with one of our experienced psychotherapists and get the help you deserve to have today!



2. Mindful Merriment Over Excess

 Mindful Merriment Over Excess

The holiday season often comes with a cultural script of excess – excessive eating, drinking, and spending. To protect your mental health, consider the following:


Thoughtful Giving: Shift the focus from material gifts to thoughtful gestures. Consider alternative gift exchange ideas that emphasize connection and shared experiences.


Financial Boundaries: Create a budget to prevent financial stress. Prioritize experiences over material possessions, and remember that genuine connections hold more value than extravagant gifts.



Self-Care Checklist: Don't compromise on essentials. Ensure you get enough sleep, maintain regular exercise, and be mindful of your overall mental well-being. Struggle with this? Speak to one of our mental health professionals today and get the support you deserve to have!


3. Breaking the "Perfect Host" Mold

Breaking the "Perfect Host" Mold

Hosting holiday gatherings can be a daunting task. Release yourself from the burden of perfection with these strategies:


Delegate Responsibilities: You don't have to carry the weight alone. Delegate tasks and involve others in the preparations. It's a collective celebration, and everyone can contribute.


Consider Alternatives: If hosting becomes overwhelming, consider alternative arrangements. Perhaps another family member or friend could take the lead this year.


Communication is Key: Set clear expectations and boundaries to avoid potential conflicts. Communicate openly about topics that may be sensitive and establish ground rules for a harmonious celebration.


Have you always been the one expected to hold down the fort? The one to host all major celebrations and parties? Feeling burnt out, guilty and stuck in what to do? Connect with one or our mental health practitioners today and get the support you need to navigate through the holidays today!



4. Balancing Togetherness and Individual

Mental Well-being

 Individual Well-being

Social obligations during the holidays can sometimes lead to discomfort and conflict. Prioritize your mental well-being with these suggestions:


Choose Happiness: Recognize that you have the power to choose what brings you joy. Attend events that align with your mental well-being, and if necessary, give yourself permission to leave early or decline invitations.


Plan for Solitude: If social gatherings become overwhelming, plan moments of solitude. Take breaks, connect with a friend, or go for a walk to recharge.


Set Boundaries Without Guilt: Your mental well-being comes first. If you feel the need to leave a gathering or skip an event, do so without guilt. Prioritize self-care.



5. Combating Loneliness with Connection

Combating Loneliness with Connection

Loneliness can be amplified during the holidays. Combat it with intentional efforts to connect:


Self-Care Rituals: Treat yourself to activities you enjoy, whether it's cooking your favorite meal, watching a movie, or engaging in a holiday project.


Volunteer: Extend a helping hand to others by volunteering. Not only does this benefit your mental health, but it also provides an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals.


Reach Out: Actively seek connections, both online and offline. Write letters or holiday cards inviting others to connect, and consider joining groups focused on community and companionship.




6. Seeking Support from a Psychotherapist

Psychotherapist

Despite your best efforts, if the holiday season becomes overwhelming, seeking professional support is a proactive step and one that can greatly reduce stress and increase opportunities for enjoyment and peace this holiday season. Consider the following themes psychotherapy can support you in:


Navigating Burnout: Psychotherapists are trained to help individuals navigate burnout, manage stress, and develop coping strategies tailored to your unique circumstances.


Dealing with Complicated Relationships: Therapy provides a safe space to explore and address complicated relationships, offering guidance on setting healthy boundaries and fostering communication.




The holiday season doesn't have to be a source of distress. By adopting these strategies and considering professional support, you can protect your mental well-being and create a holiday experience that aligns with your values and needs. Remember, your mental health matters, and you deserve a season that brings genuine joy and fulfillment.



 

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Consider our Affordable Low Cost Options:

In our commitment to ensuring equitable access to therapy for everyone, Your Story Counselling offers affordable therapy services, with prices ranging from $5 to $75 through our therapist intern clinic. These sessions are conducted by master's level therapist students under close supervision from a team of clinical supervisors. Accessing affordable and competent therapy might be more within reach than you realize! Discover more about our pricing and the dedicated team behind our services now!



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At Your Story Counselling, our team of expert therapists are here to help. We specialize in helping folks recover from trauma and build the tools to move forward in life.



We understand that seeking help can be scary, but we believe that everyone deserves a chance at a happy and healthy future.


So if you're ready to take the first step towards a stronger, healthier relationship with yourself, reach out to us for help today. Remember, it's never too late to seek help, and you deserve the best possible chance at happiness.


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