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Navigating Mental Health During the Holidays

The holidays are here. It is Christmas time. 

This can either be incredibly exciting or very depressing, depending on who you are as a person. And that's okay. You know, commercials and the stores, they obviously want you to buy stuff, but they're like "It's the best time of year! It's the happiest time of year!" And if this isn't the happiest time of year for you. It makes you feel even worse. 

I am here to tell you that that is okay. This does not have to be the best time of year for you. My best time of year is the summer my birthday. It's definitely not December when it's cold out. But hey, again to each their own. So I don't want you to feel bad if the holidays actually make you feel depressed or that you actually may feel sad.

 Maybe you're not with the people you want to be with on the holidays. Maybe someone has passed away and you're grieving. It is okay. It's really important that you take the time to feel into those emotions, whether it is something that you need to talk to somebody about, or if you just need to take some time alone- do it. That's okay too. 

If you are grieving and wishing you were with somebody that's passed on, spend some time with yourself. Write them a letter or go out in nature and speak to them. Tell them how you feel. Because stuffing it down and pretending that everything's just fine, everything's fine, is going to make it 10 times worse inside of you. This action is really going to be uncomfortable and make you feel miserable around others experienceing that this is the best time of year. Maybe that is you as well!

 How do we hanlde these different kinds of emotions, especially when we're in large groups and we're trying to be present and happy but deep down we're not really feeling that way? We need to be taking time for ourselves. 

It can get very busy during the holiday season and we want to be giving and getting things for other people and going to holiday parties. But this is when we really need to work on our daily self practice. Even just those five or ten minutes a day where we can check in with ourselves so that we can be prepared to go out and handle all those partiess and events without getting triggered from something from the past.

Some things that I like to do when I know that I have a big social day coming up is first thing in the morning I get up and I make sure for a walk outside in the early sun. I like to be barefoot on the beach- I am brought back to Earth. This gives me peace going into my day because that allows my setpoint to be calm and stable. If I wake up in the morning stressed about all the things I have to do during the day or the people I have to see Right But deep down I'm like, Oh, God, this is awful.  just get it out of your system and do what you need to do so that you can presently play with the kids and tell them that Santa is coming or whatever you need to do. 

Getting outside is going to help lower your stressful sympathetic nervous system state, help dissipate all of that extra cortisol, and increase serotonin. 

 It's so so important to check in with YOU and your mental health especially during the holiday season. If you like to meditate, meditating is wonderful. Music is great, nature is great. Movement is great, and so is sitting with yourself. We're capable of doing that in the silence to really hear what's going on so that we can handle it appropriately. From this awareness we can be of service and be joyous with the rest of the people around us when we choose to be with them in those specific situations. 

 I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any questions about how to navigate your mental health during the holiday season, please please reach out. I'm glad to help you with anything you've got going on. Please email me and enjoy your holidays!

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