The Holidays are a time for joy and leisure; however, it is a common misconception that this time is a festive and relaxing time for everyone. For a lot of people, the Holidays can mark a time for great difficulty financially, physically, and emotionally. Be it the difficulties of juggling work responsibilities, family obligations or just the general chaotic nature of the Holiday season (don’t get me started on the traffic!) there are many reasons why during this time people may not feel ok. Remember to check in with yourself this Holiday season. How are you feeling? Are you Ok?
If you asked yourself this question and you are not doing well, that’s alright. Although sometimes we may feel like we’re the only ones in the world who feel this way during this time of year, its actually very common to feel stressed, angry, or even depressed and alone, no matter if we’re spending the time alone or with family and friends.
If you are feeling these stresses of the Holiday season, here are some simple things you could do in the moment to help make yourself start feeling better again.
- Grounding exercises
Grounding exercises are an excellent way to help us in the moment. From breathing exercises to simply drinking a glass of cold water, grounding exercises help regulate our emotions as they “Ground” us back in reality and rope in some of our more intense thoughts. Grounding exercises are great for the Holiday season as they require very little time and energy to engage with and can really help in those moments where the stress is building. There are many fantastic grounding exercises that you can learn about right now by simply googling “Grounding Exercises” or using YouTube to find step by step tutorials for breathing exercises and more.
Meditation is a very useful skill to regulate emotions that many people can use as, depending on the person engaging with it, it can require very little in the form of preparation to engage with. Picking a quiet space where you can practice the fundamentals of meditation such as mindfulness allows us, in a similar way to grounding exercises, to refocus our attention and awareness of the world. Again, YouTube is a great asset here as by simply looking up “Meditation” you can find some great guided meditation videos that start from as little as 2 minutes to almost 2 hours!
Although perhaps the last thing we want to do after eating a big Holiday lunch, exercise can help improve our health and mental wellbeing. There is a significant amount of research that says that exercise is essential to maintaining and improving our mental wellbeing. Sometimes during the Holiday period, we may neglect our physical health as other activities or obligations may take the centre stage. That said, remember that exercise can be as simple as performing some stretches in the morning after getting out of bed or going for a short walk. No matter how busy we are, its always good to find even a short time for ourselves – Keep in mind, our health is just as important as the obligations we must address.
- Get some sleep
With how busy the Holiday season can get, sometimes we neglect some of our most basic functions – especially sleep. Staying up late to wrap presents? Working late on a project before you finish work or school for the year? Noble goals, but the body still needs rest to function. Make sure that you are getting a solid 8 hours of sleep a night and your mental wellbeing will thank you. Sleep hygiene is also a must during this time – be sure to avoid things like caffeine or screen time before bed as these can stimulate your mind and keep you awake for even longer.
- Perform a random act of kindness –
During the Holiday season, we are presented with plenty of opportunities to engage in acts of kindness for others. From engaging with charity events, to simply donating unwanted clothing, performing an act of kindness for someone can help boost our mood and make us feel more fulfilled by knowing we made someone else’s day just a bit better.
While the suggestions above can be of great benefit to us during the Holiday period, sometimes they are not enough, and we still find ourselves struggling with our mental wellbeing. Are you concerned about yourself or another family member this Holiday season? Here are some helpful phone numbers you can call 24/7 for support and advice.
For anyone having a personal crisis.
13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service
For anyone thinking about suicide
1300 659 467
For anyone feeling anxious or depressed
1300 22 4636
For counselling for young people 5 to 25
1800 55 1800
For Veterans and their families needing counselling
1800 011 046
Thanks for reading this blog. I hope you’ve found some information that will support you if you are having a tough time right now, and remember, there are always people who can help you if you find yourself struggling.
From the team at Innate Therapies, we wish you a happy and safe Holiday season and a fantastic New Year!
Written By Evan Morris