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'Tis the Season to Stay Sane: 7 Tips for Mental Health Over the Holidays

holiday stress management
Holiday Stress Management

I know it sounds cliche, but I truly can't believe the holidays are just around the corner! With the year winding down, I've noticed that this is the time that many people tend to get lax with their health. Yes, the holidays come with lots of goodies and treats, but pumpkin pie and sugar cookies are the least of my worries. What I'm most concerned with during the holidays is mental health.


Because mental and emotional health are absolutely critical to overall wellness.

Allowing yourself to slip into anxiety, stress, or depression during the fall and winter months can and will impact the well-being of your entire body. Whether you start sleeping less, tensing up more, or building up cortisol levels, your physical health will suffer along with your mental health. Because I'm your friend and don't want to see this happen to you, I'm throwing out seven simple but effective tips for staying sane throughout the holidays and have good holiday stress management.

1. Practice Self-Love

Guess what? It's not likely that you're going to get through this season without being stuck in a room with an aunt who stresses you out with her politics and a plate full of fudge. If you need to indulge a little to get through that conversation, don't beat yourself up! Eat and drink mindfully, though. Love yourself enough to enjoy a treat, but practice enough self-love to not make yourself sick with too much sugar.

2. Set Limits (And Stick to Them!)

There are lots of get-togethers with family, friends, and even businesses at the end of the year. This is a friendly reminder that it's okay to say no to an invitation! Enjoy time with loved ones, but feel free to set hard limits on the amount of time you'll stay at an event or to opt out of some gatherings. You're one person, you can't do it all, and your mental health will thank you for taking breaks here and there.

3. Let There Be Peace

During those times that you decide to take a break from holiday events, I encourage you to simply be still and enjoy the peace of the season. Light a candle and take a hot bath. Put on some holiday lights and music and sip a cup of tea.

4. Pay Attention to Your Body's Cues

A lot of times, your body will give you clues about when your mental and emotional health are getting out of whack. Watch out for interrupted sleep, racing heart, feeling dizzy or light-headed, shoulder tension, headaches, feeling irritated, etc. As soon as these signs start creeping up, it's time to take your foot off the gas and give yourself a break.

5. Get Outside (Or Try a SAD Lamp)

The sun is out less. It's cold. You're not getting as much sunlight and fresh air as usual. If the weather allows, take a few minutes to step outside and breathe the fresh air each day. You might also consider investing in a SAD lamp to get some natural lighting and good vibes.

6. Limit the Alcohol

When you're feeling off, it can be tempting to reach for the bottle. Enjoying a few drinks here and there is okay, but alcohol aggravates negative mental health symptoms like depression and anxiety, so don't self-medicate by drinking.

7. Stay Current with Your Doctor

I know that the end of the year is a busy time, but don't lose touch with your doctor. Reach out if you're noticing new problems with mental or physical health, and take care of yourself all season long.


Make sure you keep dropping by for more helpful suggestions from your friend - Dr. G!





The information and other content provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for, medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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