Mental Health During the HolidaysThe holiday season is typically portrayed in the media as a time of joy, light, and love. While this may be true for some, many people who struggle with mental health can find the holiday season to be a time of stress, triggers, and emotional turmoil. One cause in this change of mood can be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it affects over 3 million people every year. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that tends to intensify during the winter months and can be characterized by feelings of hopelessness, oversleeping, weight fluctuation, low energy, and even suicidal ideation. Thankfully, there are ways to make this time of year less overwhelming.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

When the chaos of the holiday season kicks in, it is beneficial to give your mind and body a predictable routine. A healthy, daily routine can ease stress, promote positive habits, and prevent burnout. One of the most important aspects of a routine is a consistent sleeping schedule. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can ensure more level-headed thinking, an increase in energy and productivity, and an overall improvement in mood. Another habit to implement into your daily routine is a set time away from technology. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the world of social media, news, and constant entertainment; however, staying connected to the physical world and being attentive to your own present thoughts will make room for personal growth and a stronger sense of stability.

Set Boundaries

It can be difficult to maintain a positive mindset when visiting family or old friends who have a history of negatively impacting your mental health or sense of self-worth. Unlike the other ten or eleven months out of the year, the holiday season tends to make these uncomfortable interactions almost impossible to avoid. Setting boundaries for yourself and for the people you will be surrounded by is a vital tool in protecting your emotional wellbeing while in an unhealthy environment.

Setting Boundaries for Yourself

Before agreeing to any plans, decide on what you are not comfortable doing and who you are not comfortable interacting with. Making these decisions internally in advance may ease the anxiety when it comes time to accept or decline an invitation.

Setting Boundaries for Others

Saying clear and concise phrases such as “no” or “I’m not comfortable with that” is the most effective way to set a boundary with others. Once you have verbally set your boundaries, it is up to the other person/people whether to respect or disrespect them. Regardless of their decision, honoring your own emotional limits should be the priority.

Reach Out to Eastside TMS and Wellness Center for Additional Support

If it feels like you’ve tried it all and are still struggling to find mental relief, reach out to us here at Eastside TMS and Wellness Center. We specialize in treatment resistant depression and offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy. Give us a call today to see if we may be able to help you!