It’s the most wonderful time of the year – at least according to the song. While some may enjoy what the holiday season has to offer, others may be struggling with their mental health. Between the stresses of budgeting for gifts, trying to find a balance between work and social life, and perhaps most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent study published by the American Psychological Association shows that stress levels increase in 38% of people during the holidays.
So if you find yourself in the holiday blues, we offer some simple tips from the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) to put the “happy” back in “happy holidays”.
- If COVID-19 is one of your major concerns, you can take some steps to ensure safety for you and others. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines for holiday gatherings that include getting your COVID-19 vaccine, testing for COVID-19, and wearing masks even if you are fully vaccinated. Read the full list.
- There’s only so much time in a day, so don’t try to do too much! If you have a laundry list of tasks, try prioritizing the items in order of importance so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Remember, it’s okay to say no to plans or tasks that don’t fit into your schedule.
- Have you considered relaxation methods? This can be as simple as taking deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth or listening to soothing music. Do you want to take relaxation to the next level? Try attending a yoga studio in Toledo! Yogaja Yoga offers a monthly membership for $84 or a 25-day pass for $25. Students and senior citizens can also take advantage of a discounted monthly membership for $64. See their full rates.
- When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep? NAMI suggests adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to stay productive throughout the day. A lack of sleep can negatively affect your overall mood and your mental health. Here are some tips you can follow to get a better night’s sleep.
- Volunteer in your community. Helping others can lead to a stronger immune system, a reduction in negative attitudes, and it can make you feel good about yourself just by simply making a small difference in the lives of others who may be less fortunate. Be sure to visit your religious places or community centers or other social events to see how you can get involved. For starters, you can ring the bell for the Salvation Army to raise money for the homeless or hungry. Learn how to get started.
- Support is available! Finding help doesn’t necessarily mean asking a doctor – you can simply talk to a friend, family, support group. However, the Zepf center is ready to help and offers several adult mental health services. You can learn more by calling 419-841-7701, option 1, or by visiting their website for more information.