Choose Joy this Season

  • November 15th, 2022
  • By Pathway Caring for Children

We all need to take care of our mental health!

The holidays can be a time when people feel more stressed than usual- even with the joys of celebrating. Families face busy stores, limited finances, gift demands, stressful family interactions, loneliness, etc. AND winter wellness– our days can be long and sunshine is in short supply. This is nothing new for us Ohioans, but how we all cope can truly affect our mental health. How can you find more joy in your holidays?

Use these tips and tricks to take time for yourself this holiday season and keep it going all year round!

  1. Talk about how you’re feeling. Often we believe we are expected to be happy and cheerful throughout the holidays. Being able to talk about how you’re really feeling and asking for help will build a stronger connection between you and those who care about you.
  2. Exercise: Release some mood-boosting endorphins! Just 30 minutes a day can help. Especially as the daylight is shorter it’s a great time to look up some at home workouts.
  3. Laugh! Soothe and release some tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation to reduce feelings of stress.
  4. Listen to Music: Studies have shown that listening to nostalgic holiday music triggers the emotional portion of the brain that brings back memories from childhood and happy times. So, crank up the sounds of the season!
  5. Practice Gratitude: Evidence suggests that gratitude is linked to happiness and more satisfaction with life. Also remember, showing gratitude can have a lasting impact on someone who needs support, especially, during this unique holiday season.
  6. Be realistic and flexible. The holidays don’t have to (and most likely won’t) be perfect or follow “tradition”. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones with input from all family members. And remember, you don’t have to feel obligated to attend every event to which you are invited. Set limits and prioritize.
  7. Get enough rest and good nutrition. We tend to over-indulge in sweets and other tasty treats during the holidays while keeping busy schedules with parties, gatherings, and get-togethers. Keeping an eye on your sleep and nutrition will keep you fueled and rested to get through everything with enjoyment.