Holidays are often portrayed as a time of joy, relaxation, and celebration. However, for many individuals, the holiday season can be a source of feelings that negatively impact their mental health. The pressures to meet societal expectations, financial strain, and increased social interactions can all contribute to feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. This can lead to physical symptoms of gut issues, headaches, muscle tension and even hair loss!

One major factor that affects mental health during the holidays is the pressure to create the perfect holiday experience. Society bombards us with images of picturesque family gatherings and extravagant gifts. This creates unrealistic expectations that can lead to feelings of inadequacy and disappointment when reality falls short. Additionally, financial strain from buying presents and hosting parties can add an extra layer of stress. 

Furthermore, the holiday season often involves increased social interactions. While this can be enjoyable for some people, it can also be overwhelming. For those who struggle with social anxiety or are introverts this can be a tough time of year. The constant expectation to attend parties or engage in small talk can drain one’s energy and exacerbate feelings of loneliness or isolation.

To protect our mental health during the holidays, it is important to set realistic expectations for ourselves and prioritize self-care. We should remember that perfection is unattainable and focus on creating meaningful connections rather than materialistic displays.  Also we need to remember it is okay to say “NO”.  Please also remember to respect the “no” when it is given.

While holidays are meant to be a time of joy and celebration, they can also have a negative impact on mental health. By setting realistic expectations for ourselves and prioritizing self-care during this time, we can better protect our mental well-being throughout the holiday season!  Remember to keep your body moving, meditate and spend time with things that make you feel relaxed or bring you joy!

Take Breaks.  Say No.  Enjoy a cup of nog!