The holiday season can be magical, but it can also be stressful, overwhelming, and sad for many. We’ve got the physical health part down, but this month we wanted to bring in our friend Mary Morrow, a pre-licensed professional counselor and fellow HOTBOXer to share her top tips for managing your mental health when December doesn’t feel like the most wonderful time of year.
- Practice setting boundaries. While family gatherings and office holiday parties can be fun, we all know they can also be stressful. We also know that boundary setting during this time can be both difficult and necessary! Pay attention to what your body is telling you. If visiting two houses in one day is too much, it’s okay to say no! If you’re dreading seeing certain family members, it’s okay to limit the time spent with them. Bottom line, it’s okay to say no to anything that doesn’t fit your schedule or make you feel good.
- Maintain healthy habits. The holidays tend to throw a wrench in our regular day-to-day routines. Allow yourself to be flexible while also maintaining healthy habits like getting enough sleep, eating enough, and moving your body.
- Practice self-compassion. If you find yourself feeling all the things this holiday season, know that you’re not alone and it’s okay! This time of year can be a happy/sad/frustrating/confusing/*insert any emotion here* time of year for many people. Allowing yourself to acknowledge and accept your emotions rather than judge them can be a great opportunity for self-compassion.
- And finally, if you’re struggling with body image/eating issues please know that I see you. The holidays can be an especially triggering time of year, and it’s okay to seek out extra help/resources during this time. You deserve to eat, you deserve to enjoy your food, and you deserve to feel joy.
To chat with Mary directly, you can connect with her via email at [email protected].
24/7 TN Crisis line: Call 855-274-7471
National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988