The holiday season is in full swing, which welcomes celebrations, traditions, family, and fun. Yet for many people it can also bring stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and over-indulgence. The demands of the holiday season can pile on and leave us feeling burned out, exhausted, and falling short of expectations. But it doesn’t have to be this way. After all, we’re in charge of how we approach the holidays. So what if we re-evaluated how we celebrate the holiday season to prioritize our health – and created a holiday season with less stress and more ease?
The months leading into the transition to a new year often include holiday gatherings, travel, deadlines, expectations, and stress. This time can also bring celebration, “friendsgivings”, traditions, creativity, a sense of community, laughter, anticipation, and joy. When adding these on top of a loss, multiple losses, or cumulative losses, one could see how this season overloads our grief experience.
As we gather with friends and family for the holiday season, current events will likely be a topic of conversation with differing opinions involved. Now more than ever it’s critical that we possess the tools to have difficult but healthy conversations with people in our lives. Learn how you can manage your responses to stressful situations, including setting healthy boundaries, in order to respond to potentially conflictual conversations with intention and respect for both yourself and others.
The holiday season ushers in a time of gratitude and giving. We reflect on what we’re thankful for, what the year has held, and what’s coming in the near and distant future. This practice of gratitude is timely and seasonal – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few reasons why we should consider extending this season of gratefulness year-round, and three ways you can start today.
Juneteenth marks a historical moment – one of celebration for the ending of a horrific practice – and is also a time for reflection. The lingering intergenerational trauma wrought by slavery is still felt today, and our country’s systems and institutions remain intricately linked with racist beliefs and policies that marginalize and oppress Black and African American individuals. This Juneteenth, we want to shine a light on the mental health of this community, and highlight how we can all help dismantle barriers to achieving mental well-being.
Mental health challenges have a long history of stigma and shame in South Asian culture which often means that many individuals do not seek out professional support. Influences such as community and family expectations, along with cultural traditions can make it difficult to talk about mental health, let alone seek out help.
For many of us, the holiday season seems to center around food. People make food together, gather to eat food, and talk about food. Food, food, food. For those diagnosed with an eating disorder, the holidays are the ultimate test of recovery skills. While it may seem intimidating, it is possible to make it through the holiday season recovery focused! Here are some steps to help get your holiday season started off right.