As the holidays approach, many of us find ourselves a bit blue. Sometimes reflecting on the challenges we’ve faced throughout the year, in addition to the stressors that come with holiday demands. This may leave you feeling overwhelmed and even depressed. As stressors peak, it can become more difficult to manage them. Small daily preventative measures may help create a more peaceful holiday experience. By taking steps that combat holiday triggers, you can minimize your risk of experiencing the blues. Below are some helpful suggestions that may help support you through the holidays.
Awareness of your feelings.
It’s important to acknowledge what you are feeling. Your feelings are normal. It’s okay to take time to cry or express how you feel. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be happy. Give yourself the time to explore your feelings and process them meaningfully.
Make time for self-care.
Self-care can range from focusing on your breathing to taking a walk to set boundaries with friends and family and saying “no.” We often believe that for self-care to be effective, it requires hours of commitment. However, taking 1-2 minutes every few hours to check in with your breathing and resetting the tension in your body can help reduce emotional build-up.
It’s okay to say “no” to activities, purchases and things that do not resonate with you.
The way you spend your time and money is very much a form of self-care. Saying no when needed helps you feel more in control, reducing anxiety and feelings of helplessness. Mindfulness techniques such as focusing on the breath, yoga, or meditation are extremely effective in reducing anxiety and stress. Taking a walk, fresh air, and your surroundings gives relief from worry.
Don’t stop your healthy habits.
Continue to exercise and eat well. This will help your body better manage any increase in stress. Use your resources. If you are feeling sad, isolated, or overwhelmed reach out for support from a family member or a friend. You can also utilize community resources like your local church for support. Below are additional community resources available to you.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in distress and prevention and crisis resources.
- A new, free-of-charge emotional support text line, Call4Calm, is now available for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. Illinois Department of Human Services Mental Health Division launched the hotline, which connects Illinoisans with the mental health services and other support systems they need. Text “TALK” to 552020 to connect with a counselor. The service is also available in Spanish by texting “HABLAR” to the same number. Within 24 hours of sending a text to the hotline, residents will receive a call from a counselor at a local community health center. Call4Calm is free to use, and individuals will remain anonymous. Individuals can also text 552020 with keywords such as “unemployment,” “food” or “shelter” for help navigating state assistance services.
If you need additional ongoing support. Reach out to your doctor’s office to ask for a referral if you need one. You can also reach out to us through our website’s contact page. Our scheduling time frame runs between 1-8 weeks, depending on the therapist’s availability. We would be honored to support you with your mental health needs.