Mental Health Over the Holidays – Blogmas Day 10

While the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, they’re also most mentally and physically draining time of the year. It’s easy to brush it off and say that you love the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the constant going, the visitors, the endless meal preparation and the long list of things to do that never seems to end, but you do need a break every once and awhile; you’re only human.

So for blogmas day 9 we’re going to talk about taking care of your mental health over the business of the holidays.

I find making a list of everything you need to do is the best way to start. Make separate lists for each task you need to accomplish. A list for presents you need to buy, a list of events happening over the holidays, of people you need to visit, your holiday grocery list, etc. It’s easy to forget the things you need to do so make sure you categorized by importance of the task. A physical list will help you feel accomplished as you cross things off. Also, be sure not to overwhelm yourself, it’s great to try and do everything but you’re only one person and everyone has limits.

Make sure you’re getting lots of rest and eating nutritious foods. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of “quick and easy” when it comes to taking care of yourself (like little naps instead of a full night’s rest and fast food instead of real food). In order to enjoy your holidays, you need to take care of yourself to the best of your capabilities.

Now, I’m talking to you retail workers and servers. Make sure you’re resting between shifts and only taking on what you can in your downtime, the holidays are CRAZY when you work in the service industry and while it’s the “happiest time of the year”, people can be major assholes. Recognizing that some things are beyond your control and people can just be difficult can help relieve some of the stress placed on you at work this holiday season. And don’t take on so many shifts that you can’t enjoy the holidays. I know a lot of us are on break from school but if you’re only used to working 5-10 hours a week, don’t overload yourself because you feel like you have free time to work. There will be holiday stuff happening and you’ll be too tired to go because you’ve worked so much. Make sure you’re only putting in the hours that you want not the hours you feel like you should be working because it’s so easy to wear yourself out especially around the holidays.

Also, don’t spread yourself too thin. It’s easy to fill up your days, and take on tasks that keep you busy, but don’t put too much on your plate. Not only is it not fair to you, but it’s not fair to the people who are relying on you for certain things, or those you have to cancel plans on. Be realistic and only do what you know you can achieve each day while still having time to rest and breathe in between.

Finally, remember you are not obligated to do anything you don’t want to do or see people you don’t want to see. People always try to use the excuse “but it’s the holidays you have to” or they’ll tell you to “have some Christmas spirit” but no, that’s not the case. If someone gives you bad vibes or you don’t have a great history with them, you’re in no way obligated to see them any time of the year; especially the holidays. And if your friends or family are going somewhere that you don’t feel comfortable going, you don’t have to go. They’ll try to use the holidays as some sort of guilt bargaining tool but you don’t have to do anything that will negatively affect your mental health or well-being.

Christmas is the happiest time of the year so make sure you’re taking care of yourself in order to enjoy it. I realized today that I had myself spread a little too thin and I was doing too much throughout my days and not spending enough time on myself. So, I did all my errands this morning and had a great nap this afternoon before I head off to work for the evening and it was great!

I hope you all are having a happy and balanced holidays and you’ll hear from me again tomorrow with another blogmas post!

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