Christmas Day may have ended, but the festivities sure haven’t. Staying healthy is a physical and mental balance on a regular basis. Though, heightened pressure to provide a perfect experience seems to be a theme of this year. Living up to anyone’s expectations, including our own isn’t worth it moving forward.
Reflect on this relaxed mindset going into 2022. If anything, jam out to your favorite holiday classics (Motown renditions more than welcome) and dance the stress out. No vision of the holidays can interfere with your own happiness.
This Detroit mental health spin on staying healthy is inspired by the Mayo Clinic’s “Mental Health and The Holidays Stress” article from November 2021. Take what most resonates.
These 5 tips for staying healthy mentally this holiday and beyond should spark some new ideas personal to your current state. After all, you have the power to bring a positive outlook into the new year.
This should be ingrained in everyone’s brains by now. Longer and more frequent washes are second nature for the majority. Winter holiday festivities can distract us from our normal routines and rituals though. We already have a larger risk of sickness to deal with. Flu season means taking extra precautions. Reminder to not get too caught up in spreading sickness so that it doesn’t interfere with your well-being. Stay aligned with mental health and the pandemic by covering the basic hygiene principles with a little more awareness. Take care of yourself first.
This is perhaps one of the most important components of staying healthy mentally in these times. The pandemic has shifted each family’s perception of gatherings. This year wasn’t how you thought? Well, maybe it’s because it’s a new year and another is already rolling in. Staying healthy during the holidays means being less in the head and more in the heart. Don’t try to recreate holidays from years past. Observe the lessons brought on by the pandemic. As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus once said, “change is the only constant in life”. Nobody stays the same. Families grow together and discover new insights.
DRINK EXTRA WATER
Yes, we’ve all heard the importance of drinking enough water. And yet, we still aren’t as conscious throughout the day. The holidays require even more mindfulness. Your body will be grateful if you listen. Winter weather contributes to the dryness of the skin, but also on the inside. Christmas cocktails, wine, and thick eggnog are the common adult holiday beverages, but dehydration catches up. It’s also easy to overindulge during the holidays. At least drink up between now and New Year’s Eve!
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Ultimately, mental health is best without social media distractions. Deep breathing is always good. Though maybe alone time could even mean snuggling up on the couch and watching a Christmas movie instead of looking at your next to-do list if you’ve been at it all week. The work year is ending, which still adds a lingering pressure to finish up certain projects and put in more hours during off-time. Everyone in school gets a break, so you should too! Find something stimulating on Netflix that’s geared towards mental health.
Party hard, but don’t disregard your sleep schedule. I’m not saying head back home earlier than you’d like from your holiday events. This just means being mindful of staying on track with proper sleep. Trouble managing your holiday stress? Take a break! Nap for 15-20 minutes during the day or sleep in the next day. Realistically, every other stressor in your life will eventually spiral if you’re not getting enough sleep. Catching up on rest to get back into a regular sleep schedule helps humans function better on all levels.
In summary, let the new holiday experiences flow instead of trying to control the outcome. Be the best you at holiday gatherings and ring in the new year on a rejuvenating note. Staying healthy becomes habitual.
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