Prioritising Your Mental Health During The Holidays

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Mental Health And The Holidays

It is a sad truth that the holidays are not happy for everyone. In fact, statistics show that there is an increase in mental health problems during the holiday season.

“According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of people surveyed said their stress increased during the holiday season, which can lead to physical illness, depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. The reasons given: lack of time, financial pressure, gift-giving, and family gatherings.” Source: mcleans-guide-managing-mental-health-around-holidays

Since I like to share mental health tips whenever I can, I thought this would be a good time to do so. If anyone is struggling with their mental health or if anyone does tend to struggle with their mental health during the holidays, here are some tips on how you can prioritise your mental health during the holidays:

Maintain A Routine For Your Mental Health During The Holidays

I think routine is really important for people suffering from mental health issues. Straying from your daily routine can be really damaging for your mental health. And I think that’s one reason why people get so overwhelmed during the holidays. Because things are suddenly so different and your routine changes a lot. Plus, you may be around a lot more people than you’re used to.

I know it’s not easy to stick with your usual routine during the holidays. But try to maintain some parts of it if possible. For example, if you meditate for half an hour every day keep doing that even during the holidays. Or if you exercise regularly, try to get in at least some exercise during the holidays too.

Take Some Time Off

There is so much to be done during the holidays. And as I mentioned you may be around so many people depending on how you celebrate. So remember to take a break and get some me-time. It’s not selfish to need some time to take care of yourself. As I read on this post just today, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Even if it’s Christmas or Christmas Eve and you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Lie down for a while and let someone else take over. I’m sure if you talk to your friends/family they will understand why you need a break. And even if they don’t, sometimes you need to put yourself first.

Make Good Choices During The Holidays

I don’t know about you guys but I kind of lose my self-control a little during the holidays. Like I had been so good about my oil-free diet but this week I ended up eating something oily twice already. And it made me feel kind of gross physically. I felt sluggish and even ended up napping for a bit. Even if it’s the holidays, try to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. It’s okay to treat yourself to a few unhealthy meals or some drinks but try not to overdo it. Eating unhealthy, drinking too much, over or under sleeping and lack of exercise can lead to a deterioration in mental health.

Seek Help

If you know you are someone that gets overwhelmed during the holidays or suffers from mental health problems during the holidays, seek help. I know it’s not possible for everyone due to the cost of healthcare, stigma surrounding mental health etc. But if you can talk to a professional, you absolutely should. They can advise you on how best to prioritise your mental health during the holidays.


I hope these tips were helpful. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression I know we sometimes get overwhelmed at this time of the year. But the things I mentioned above really help me and hopefully they will help you too. Happy Holidays everyone!

How do you take care of your mental health during the holiday season? Any tips you would like to share? Let me know in the comments below because I would love to hear your thoughts. Or simply stop by and say hi!

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85 thoughts on “Prioritising Your Mental Health During The Holidays

  1. Thanks Pooja for sharing your tips! The past few Christmases have been rough with my kiddo being sick around that time and then feeling overwhelmed by it. The metaphorical gut punch from all the tiredness, guilt, and sadness happen in December and that sadness lingers on. This is the first December in a long time where I’m not depressed and feeling hopeless. It feels so good to not be there but I’m thankful too for medication.

  2. Thank you for writing about this. In fact, I normally would not outright admit it, but yea, I’ve never really been fond of holidays. I mean, during better times, sure, I do enjoy it a bit more than usual, but most times, when I am not in a very good place (including mentally, financially, etc), I usually prefer to just stay home and be by myself.

    Like this year’s X’mas, I’ll be staying at home, enjoying some time on my fav PC games, and then working on another year-end article for my website.

    1. Thank you. Yes, the holidays aren’t for everyone and sometimes just staying home and relaxing is the best thing to do. I’ll be watching a movie with the family and just relaxing.

  3. I love that you’re talking about this now. It’s so important! This year, the kids and I decided to do away with the “stuff” gifts. There will be a few exceptions, but I already put in my call to Santa a d informed him that we want either consumables or experiences. That’s how we’re going to make memories this Christmas. Get it more centered on Christ and less centered on stuff. Plus, we get to have Christmas Eve Mass and Christmas Day Mass. Yay!!!! πŸŽ„β€οΈ Merry Christmas to one and all!

  4. That’s quite another perspective for me. I had never thought that holidays could also be a cause of mental health complications. But, the reasons cited in this post are quite valid and the people (having some mental health issues) need to be cautious and plan their holidays properly to avoid recurrence of depression etc.
    Wishing you a healthy life.

  5. Timing of this post is great. Earlier I realized I’m tired of all the activities that need to be done…burnt out. Pulled up a good book then started knitting to relax. Thank you!

  6. I add one more thing. Learn some kind of Meditation. it really help me in my rough time. it is not easy, probable many years required to get hold of it. But it really helps.

  7. It is so counterproductive that the time that is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year is so hard for so many. I think we should also recognize our own needs, not only fulfilling the family expectations for the holidays.

  8. Exactly Pooja. Thanks for the healthy tips and I concede with you ,these holidays humans tend to experience such mental health that can lead to negative effects such as depression.

    I fully comprehend the need of taking time off and making great decisions during the holidays. Its the season of giving and family time so spending time with family and friends is a necessity to be sane as well. Laughing, listening to music and watching movies are examples of relieving mental health issues and they work for me but if the situation gets out of hand and worsens I recommend the services of seeking professional helpπŸ‘

    Happy Holidays πŸŒ²πŸ™

    1. Thanks so much, I absolutely agree. It’s nice to spend time with loved ones but if it’s too stressful it’s good to take breaks or get professional help. Happy holidays.

  9. Taking some time off from social media is essential to maintain a good mental health since we’re quick to feel mentally exhausted seeing the repetitive toxicity in daily basis on social matrix. It makes anyone feel like crap so I highly recommend to maintain a balance when using social media. Thanks pooja for sharing an thoughtful article

  10. I especially liked the tip about maintaining a routine. It’s so true that a lack of routine can have negative effects on one’s wellbeing. Thank you for this. And thank you for referring to my blog post, I am grateful! ❀️

  11. I don’t celebrate Christmas, but this post works for any kind of celebration that requires a gathering, and yes, it is helpful. Especially the point about making time for yourself. Thank you!

  12. Once again I am finding you are sharing very valuable tips, Pooja.
    The healthy routine and healthy foods are things I have adjusted in recent years so that I don’t end up feeling sluggish or out of balance. I also took into account the needs of my husband, when we were still living together. It helped a lot, too.
    Yes, there are still a few things in the mix that just won’t be healthy when overdone, but they are healthier now when done. And the Christmas Dinner became something to look forward to and feel well after.

    Wishing you and yours happy holidays, as well!

    1. Thanks so much.
      Yes, a healthy routine and lifestyle makes a very big difference. And I think most things aren’t great when overdone so it’s all about balance.

      Thanks so much!

  13. You read my mind, as a teacher on break and away from home, my days feel out of wack. Definitely going to try to re-implement some normalcy.

    (: Thank you for the tips & happy holidays

  14. In India as you know Christmas is not a big thing but diwali is.
    But I just want to say my perspective that I don’t like festival or celebration. I’m not killjoy or anything, but celebration give me unwanted tension. I don’t know what changed in my Pooja but I’m become more introverted over the years. Celebration brings tension of preparing for things, cleaning and what not.
    Interestingly, I’m not married yet, but in future I need to change my nature because I can get into trouble. Sometimes you have to socialize and oblige people πŸ˜….
    I don’t know why I’m telling you all this 😝.
    But overall a great blog, I love your work, because it always give something to the readers.

    1. I’m the same way. I’ve always been introverted and have become more so recently. I find such stuff stressful and tend to avoid celebrations when I can. Haha yes sometimes socialising is necessary.
      Thanks so much 😊

    1. Yes, I absolutely agree. It really helps to know what you need to do and that you’re getting things done properly. I think it decreases the stress too.

  15. Thank you for writing about this! It is so important! I have been having a lot of fun this month but there are moments when everything that has been ignored bubbles up and just bursts out. I literally had a break down 10 minutes ago and came to the blogging world for respite at 1AM! πŸ™‚

    1. I totally understand, even though the holidays can be fun they can also be overwhelming. And of course our problems always remain even if we repress them. Luckily we have blogging which has become like a safe haven for many!

  16. To offset the extra eating during the holidays I always try to move a little bit more. But you’re right it’s ok to indulge as long as it doesn’t become a habit. Enjoy you holiday Pooja and take care of yourself!

  17. Thanks for sharing. I normally just find something to do that I enjoy doing. Sometimes I will read a good book that I know is going to make me laugh. I listen to music, or I may think of something to write about that I know will make others smile to. This year is really rough though, but I know I will be alright. I meditate and just watch my favorite shows that makes me laugh. I am currently watching A Christmas Story by Charles Dickens, the animated version. Merry Christmas πŸŽπŸŽ„

    1. That’s a great way to deal with the holiday stress. Sorry this year has been tough but like you said just have faith it will all end well. A Christmas Story is one of my favourites too. Merry Christmas πŸŽ„

  18. It is said that heart attack and several other stress related physical illnesses also spike during the holiday season. No doubt the physical problems often come from the underlying mental issues. I just got a phone call from a woman a day before yesterday and I felt sure that she was in a lot of mental strain, which obviously made her more talkative, assertive, and stubborn. I thought to myself it was useless to argue with her since she’s not going to listen. Oh, wish that she could calm down and don’t work herself into a frenzy. Anyway, happy holidays to everyone and wish everybody has a relaxed and pleasant time from now to the New Year.

    1. Yes, both are definitely related to each other. Yes, it’s best not to argue with people who are stressed out. It just makes it worse. There are many people like her and hopefully they can take it easy soon. Happy Holidays, hope you have some delicious vegan food.

  19. I have been stress eating since the holidays started. After the holidays, the stress won’t really go away, but the access to all the unhealthy food will go away. Right now it’s too easy to find unhealthy foods. My family sets out the unhealthy chocolate, cookies, and all the other unhealthy snacks all over the house.

    1. Yeah the holidays come with an array of unhealthy food which doesn’t help when you’re trying to be healthy. Hopefully it’s not too bad.

  20. Happy holidays Pooja! These tips are really great, and it’s true that “the most wonderful time of the year” is usually also quite overwhelming for a lot of people! I completely agree that maintaining your routine a bit is really helpful, as it allows us to take some time for ourselves! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Thanks for sharing this piece.. I normally just find some comic book or watch old cartoon that boosts my self health. I listen to music often, sometimes it helps sometimes it drags me to the memories that won’t happen again in life.. This Year has been tough but life has to move on..

  22. Thank you for sharing these tips; they’re very helpful!
    Sometimes, I get anxious too. When this happens to me, I go in a place where I can stay alone and I listen to some music. It helps me a lot!

  23. Thank you for writing on this topic. I have found myself quite irritable and key-ed up this holiday season, as it has been my first one as a person going through divorce. I did, however, recently start my own mental health blog which has been a positive hobby. I wrote a post last week entitled “STOP Making Comparisons at Christmas!” If you, or your readers, wanted to check it out, I think it fits along well with what you’ve shared. Best!

    1. I can imagine that it’s not easy going through a divorce during the holidays. I’ll definitely check out your site and blog post. Thanks for sharing that with us.

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