You are here

How will you take care over the holidays?

December can be a very stressful month in general, but even more so if you’re going through a hard time or dealing with mental health issues. The holidays are not always easy if your family is stressing you out, or if you don’t have a family. You might not have enough money for presents or maybe you’re just feeling alone and isolated…

Whatever is causing you to be stressed out or sad or worried – you gotta remember to take care of yourself.

Here are some random tips to get you through the holidays:

  • Make presents with fun ‘do it yourself’ projects instead of buying, to save money and also make gifts more personal. They’re fun to make and fun to receive! Pinterest always inspires me with fun ideas. Or just make stuff for yourself too if you don’t want to make presents.
  • If you’ve been keeping to yourself for a while, this is a great time to reconnect with friends and family. This can be scary, but sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can be very rewarding. If you think this might be overwhelming for you, having the support of a therapist would be helpful. See how to get started in counseling or therapy here.
  • Get outside! I know gray, cold, snowy weather is not always appealing and that it sucks sometimes when you just wish you were on a hot beach. But going for a walk, getting some fresh air, tobogganing, building a snowman or snow angel, having a snowball fight, or taking up a winter sport like skiing or snowboarding can all be very fun too! Let’s face it, winter’s here, and there’s not much we can do about it, so might as well make the best of it.
  • If you’re really against the outdoors in the cold, you can still do something physical by going to the gym or doing some yoga or taking up some sort of fitness or even dance class. Too expensive? Exercise at home for free. You can look up different exercise techniques online to get you started.
  • Make a gingerbread house, watch festive movies or catch up on your fav shows.
  • This is a great time to reflect, focus on yourself and look back on the year that just passed. You could make a scrapbook or a zine, write in your journal or spend some time reflecting with friends. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small they were. Look back on the funny moments. And look back on what maybe didn’t work so well, so you can focus on what you might change in the upcoming year.
  • Do something nice for someone else. This will make them happy and you.
  • If you’re alone for the holidays, volunteer at a local shelter or hospital, where you can help brighten someone’s day who may also be feeling alone.
  • Find one beautiful thing or try doing at least one new thing every day. And document it. Take pics, write it down, facebook it, tweet it, whatever, just do it! You could try this for a week, a month, or for the year! Or just whenever you feel like.

Give some of these things a try. Tell us below in the comments how you liked them or if you have other things that work for you. But if you’re really not coping well, make sure you have support in your life. Talk to your friends or family and make a safety plan of what you might do if things get worse – you can use this Coping Kit to help you make a safety plan.

You can get help if you’re in a crisis. If you’re thinking you might hurt yourself or someone else, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately. For more info go to I'm In Crisis!

Or if you’re considering getting started in counselling or therapy, this is a great time to plan for that and start either immediately, or in the new year. Check out the I Need to Talk to Someone section for information about getting started.

Be good to yourself, be safe and take care over the holidays.