Depending on what your family dynamic is, having everyone all together during the Holidays can be a lot to handle. On top of that, the Holidays tend to result in a lot of people going out of town. So, when you mix the two together, it can end up creating a really stressful situation.
This can be hard for some people to come back from once the Holidays are over and they have to return to the daily grind. Here are some tips that will hopefully help you keep your mental health intact as you integrate back into your normal life!
Get Back to Your Home Town Routine
This may be the most solid piece of advice that I can give to anyone who struggles with mental illness, regardless of the time of year: get back to your daily routine as soon as possible (or even try to stick to it as much as possible while you’re out of town). This will help you! Having something consistent, like a routine, in your everyday life is very grounding.
If we break it down a bit to understand why this is true, it’s because we, as humans, crave consistency. Think about it, when you go on a trip, even if it’s to a beautiful place, you still feel relief or comfort when you arrive home. Humans also crave consistency in other aspects of life as well. Finances and relationships are two more great examples.
Coming back to that daily routine after being out of town for the holidays is a great way to ease some of that anxiety you may have. Routines are a great way for your brain to get back into its usual patterns and help you realize that all is not lost. Life is as it was before you left.
Take Time to Focus on You
Making time for yourself is another highly important aspect of protecting your mental health. When you get back from your trip, take some time to meditate and make sure you’re in the right headspace to have a successful next few weeks.
If meditation isn’t cutting it for you and you need a little extra TLC, don’t be afraid to take some time to engage in calming and grounding activities that you know will work for you! If you find peace in reading books or listening to music, then do that! If you feel more balanced when you’re out in nature, spend some time going for a walk or any other outdoor activity that you enjoy.
The goal here is to clear your mind, to hit the ‘reset’ button, if you will. Keep in mind that you know yourself best. You’re the only one who can truly know what you need, so make sure you’re listening to yourself and following your inner cues. Doing this will help you feel empowered, as well as more relaxed.
It’s Only Temporary
A common theme I’ve noticed with people who struggle with mental illness, myself included, is that we tend to focus on worst-case-scenarios. On that note, I want to remind you that the holidays are temporary. Don’t worry about this kind of stress being permanent, because that isn’t going to happen.
The holidays will do as they always do and disappear until next year. This will give you time to get back on your feet and enjoy and improve your life before they return again , hopefully leading to a less stressful holiday season next year!
Remembering that the holidays are temporary can also help you appreciate time with your family more and make you less stressed when you do come home. Families don’t always get along and that’s just part of having a family, but try to remember that they love you and miss you and genuinely want to enjoy your time together.
Be patient and try not to set your expectations too high. Focus on the aspects of your family time that make you really happy and engage in those as much as possible. This will help you to change your reaction to the situation based on something that you can control: your perspective.
Take a deep breath and know that all is well…
As hard as it may be, try to make the most of this time of year. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll start to love the holidays!
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