The holidays are fast approaching, and while this time of year can bring about lots of fun, laughter, quality time, and of course those classic cheesy Christmas movies, it can also bring about feelings of stress; especially when you throw a global pandemic into the mix! While we know that things will look different this year, it is important to practice strategies that will support your mental health during the holidays:

Plan ahead
» When we see that the road ahead might be a little bumpy, it can help to plan ahead so that we have strategies readily available to cope
» Start to plan some fun activities, schedule virtual events, build in time for self-care

Daily movement
» Movement and exercise help to release endorphins (“the happy hormone”) and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone)
» Low stress levels increase the ability to manage stressful events and help to build overall resilience
» E.g. home exercises, stretching, yoga, dancing, or going for a walk

Practice good sleep hygiene
» Keeping a consistent bedtime and morning routine will help your body prepare for a restful sleep every night
» Continue to focus on getting a balanced sleep even throughout the holidays

Healthy eating
» While the holidays bring about the wonderful gift of holiday baking, don’t forget to keep up with healthy eating and give your body the nutrients it needs to manage your day to day activities

Self-care
» Check-in with yourself on a regular basis, listen to your own needs, and prioritize time for yourself (even if for just 1 minute!)
» Make time for the little things (take a bath, colour, draw, bake, journal, watch a cheesy Christmas movie, listen to music, dance,
play, DIY projects)

Practice gratitude
» Take time to remember the things that you are grateful for – big or small
» This can be simple things, like appreciating the basics (e.g. your ability to see, hear, feel, etc.)

Connect
» As humans, we are built for connection. Find ways to continue to connect with others, whether that is by phone, text, email, video chat, or a social distance visit
» Reach out to others – check in, tell funny stories, listen, empathize, validate, vent

Make friends with winter
» Winter is here, so why not make friends with it
» Bundle up, layer up (mask up) and get outside for some fresh air
» Spending time outside and in nature can help us feel grounded, present and mindful

Create new traditions
» We might not be able to do all the festive things that we typically do every year, so now is the chance to get creative with making new holiday traditions
» Get together virtually - open gifts, cook, eat dinners, play games, and watch movies through online platforms

Give yourself permission to feel
» Remind yourself and family members that it is ok to feel whatever you are feeling – it’s ok to feel anxious, nervous, confused, excited, scared, frustrated

We wish our wonderful patients a warm, safe, joy-filled holiday. Thank you for your continued support through this crazy year!

Peace – Pure Devotion