Taking Care of your Mental Health Over the Holidays
No matter where you live, this year Covid-19 is going to affect how you spend your holidays. With the cold weather and shorter days, it’s easy to feel gloomy. Here are some tips to get you through it.
1. Stay social - Humans are social beings, so during this time make sure you keep in touch with others.
a. Text, email. call or video chat. Set up a system with friends and family to make check-in calls.
b. Have online meals together. If you want to make it a bit of fun, order the same meal from a meal deliver service, wear silly hats or have stories to share.
2. Keep to your traditions (if it’s something you enjoy).
a. Traditions ground us, so go ahead and continue with them as long as they follow your local government restrictions.
b. Cook and bake. You may not be able to host your family but in most municipalities, you can still leave your baked goods on your loved-one’s doorstep.
c. Decorate like you usually would. Take pictures or have online chats to share your home.
3. Make home-made meals and treats.
a. Loading your body with nutritious food will build your immune system.
b. Planning fresh, homemade meals will keep you from aimlessly snacking.
c. Homemade meals also mean fewer additives and preservatives, which is always a good thing.
d. It is the holiday season though, so go ahead and include some traditional meals and treats.
4. Exercise your body and mind.
a. Set a fitness routine. It will keep you active and is a great de-stressor. It will also help you work off those extra treats you’ve been making.
b. Take advantage of your smartphone. You can easily access 1000’s of fitness routines through youtube.
c.Meditate – If you’ve never done it before, now is a great time to try it. Meditation in any form steadies the mind.
d. Get outside – Going for a walk or drive can really cheer you up. It also gives you the chance to see the Christmas lights around your neighbourhood.
e. Go back to school - There are more cosmetology courses online then ever before. They will keep you busy and give you a sense of accomplishment.
5. Keep to your routine.
a. Get up at the same time each day. Sticking to your waking/sleeping patterns will help keep you upbeat.
b. Don’t overdo in in the celebration department. Alcohol is a depressant so watch how much you drink over the holidays. Having a few celebratory drinks can be fun, having too many can actually make you feel worse.
6. Know when it’s more than the winter blues.
a. If your depression lasts more than a week, if you are experiencing anxiety that won’t go away or if your thoughts become ‘dark’, it’s probably time to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
b. Don’t let the stigma of mental illness stop you from feeling better. Click on this link for a list of supports near you Mental health support: get help - Canada.ca.