Fighting off holiday blues?
Combatting the holiday blues is a real struggle for me. Even though I have some happy memories around the holidays, I have some very deep heart breaks around them as well.
Here are a few self care tips and tricks that have shown to help me.
- Consistent sleep routine; shorter naps. When you are fighting off depression laying around in bed or on the couch is the last thing you need to do. Yes rest, but set a timer or an alarm. You can't stay in bed or on the couch all day.
Consider night time routine for improved sleep- no screen time 1-2 hours before bed. Weather permitting take a 20-30 min walk after dinner. Also deep breathing exercises before bed will help lower your anxiety and increase your blood oxygen level.
- Nutrition is key! Health snacks! Eat colors of the rainbow, no, not skittles. Load up on raw fruits and veggies and healthy fats. Macadamia nuts have been shown to help increase happy hormones. Stay hydrated! Push water, herbal teas and limit your alcohol consumption.
- Create a schedule. A lot of times time gets away from us when we are feeling down. We become unproductive and scattered. Write down your to-do lists and set yourself goals for the week. Keep it in front of you. Don't get discouraged if you get off track. Re direct and try again.
- Talk about feelings / validate feelings. Remember just because you feel a certain way it doesn't make the feeling true. You may feel unwanted, unloved, unappreciated, and you have the right to feel what you feel. They are your feelings. But majority of the time just because we feel a certain way it doesn't make it factual. You have to be able to draw the line to see that difference. Find a trusted friend or professional counselor to walk you through feelings and help you see the facts.
- Habit of gratefulness. When we focus on ourselves and the negatives we lose sight of the good going on around us. Grab a journal and start making a grateful list. List out the names of people, places, experiences memories...it's your list. Maybe you call it your Joy Journal. Write down anything that brings you joy or what brought you joy today. When you start looking for those silver linings in every day you will start to transition your thought process to a healthier way of thinking.
- Access your happy hormones:
Dopamine: Reward chemical
Completing a task, doing self-care activities, eating food (remember healthy choices) celebrating small wins.
Oxytocin: Love Chemical
Playing with a dog, playing with a baby, holding a hand, getting or giving a hug, give a compliment
Serotonin: Mood Stabilizer
Meditate and Exercise. Weather permitting, exercise outside.
Endorphins: Pain killer
Laughter (jokes/reading/watch a comedy) essential oils, dark chocolate, exercise, yoga, box breathing.
Use these tips and tricks to help brighten up your holiday season! Remember, mental health is important. You are important. Never hesitate reaching out for professional help. If you are unsure where to start send us a message. We will get you connected to someone in your area.