Mental Health Survival Expert’s Tip of the Month – December

Mental Health and the Holidays

Most marketers in America would like you to believe that the holidays are an amazingly perfect time for so many people. All of the lights, days off, time with family and giving and receiving of gifts. It can be a beautiful time for a lot of people, but also breed heavy amounts of anxiety, stress and, let’s be honest, for some straight up depression. Now this isn’t all people, but if you do feel some of these things you aren’t alone. You’re trying to wrap up finals and cram everything you can into the last couple of weeks, then you have to go home and face your family, which may not be the best situation for everyone, especially those dealing with the loss of someone close to them or their first holiday without a family member. Not to mention how to get gifts if you can at all on your college budget. The t-shirt from your school for everyone can always be a quick fix!

Needless to say there’s a lot going on, so here are some tips to help you get through:

1). Breathe. Remember even if you’re dealing with a lot at this time you will make it through and taking time to relax will help. Your school pressure isn’t as high so try to enjoy this time.

2). See your friends. You may not be alone in your anxiety or fears of the holidays and talking about it with others or letting others know may open up a new level of understanding.

3). Take the time to let people know how you feel. Sometimes we get so caught up in the capitalism of the holidays that we forget to let people know how we feel. I think it’s always great if you write in a card a little something about what someone means to you.

4). Don’t party too much. It’s easy to let the emotions and stress of the holidays have you dipping into the egg-nog a little too much if you know what I mean. Find a healthy form of expression for your situation.

5). If necessary set up a schedule while you’re home. I know it can be great to go back to sleeping 14 hours a day and doing nothing, but if you have a lot to do think about budgeting your time to fit in family, friends, shopping and whatever else you may be doing.

~ Ross Szabo

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