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Mental Health During the Holidays: Five Tips to Ease the Struggle


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1.       Manage your expectations. 
           Remember that this year is different and may not feel like the holiday season we are used to.
           Whether you are sharing a meal over Zoom or sending well wishes to family across the country,
           managing your expectations for yourself and others will help you stay positive. Give yourself and
           those around you some grace – none of us have been through a time like this before, and we’re all
           trying to balance staying safe with feeling “normal.”     

2.       Pull back when you need to. 
           If, at any point, you feel overwhelmed or anxious, know that it’s perfectly fine to take a step back. 
           Healthy boundaries are necessary for your mental health. Practicing self-care can also help soothe
           feelings of anxiety or stress. Take a walk, watch a funny movie, or meditate.

3.       Reach out to loved ones. 
           In times like this, living in a digital age can feel like a saving grace. Stay connected with your loved
           ones via text, social media, video or phone. Make yourself available for those you cannot see in
           person and offer your support to loved ones who may be struggling — a simple text or email can
           make a difference.

4.       Monitor your moods. 
           The “holiday blues” are real, so it is important to stay in tune with how you’re feeling. It can be easy
           to put others before yourself during the holiday season but remember that how you’re feeling
           matters too. Practicing mindfulness, journaling, or even rating how you feel every day can help you
           better understand your emotions. Pay attention to what makes you happy and incorporate it into your
           daily life. And remember: It’s OK to not be OK, and you’re not alone.

5.       Ask for help. 
          If the holidays become more than you can handle, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Talk
          to a loved one, trusted peer, or even your primary care physician about how you’re feeling. If you
          notice a family member or loved one having a difficult time, encourage them to seek help too.