Compass Health Center offers seven ways to improve mental health this season.
7 ways to achieve balance for better mental health this holiday season
CHICAGO, October 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – A recent scientific paper published by the World Health Organization found that during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a monumental 25% . In recent years, holidays have appeared different due to restrictions on social distancing and safety guidelines. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic together, enthusiasm for being able to resume more of our holidays and family traditions can be coupled with stressors related to vacation travel, larger in-person social events, and a desire to make up for the time. lost . This is further intensified by other seasonal stressors at work or school, in social circles and within ourselves. Anna Finis, PsyD, Director of Child and Young Child IOP at Compass Health Center – Chicago, explains: “As we enter the holiday season, where we may find ourselves pulled in various directions, we have the opportunity to evaluate our priorities and fill our time intentionally. . Balance, in general, is not how we add to our day, but instead how we are more intentional with our time. “
7 ways to achieve balance for better mental health this holiday season:
Manage expectations and set boundaries – Holidays can be full of “hot topics” that can easily turn into serious disagreements that lead to increased stress, anxiety and harmful thought patterns. Boundaries should be established that honor the values of the individual who sets them. It is restorative and empowering to set boundaries, even when others are not aligned with them.
Engage in awareness – Finding an awareness practice that is realistic and practical for the time and energy you have is crucial. Don’t be discouraged if you find awareness non-intuitive at first; it takes practice. Mindfulness allows us to focus on the hour when the stressors of what’s to come become too many.
Align your activities and priorities with your core values – Values guide us by creating a sense of meaning and direction in our lives. Intentionally aligning holiday traditions and priorities with your values helps you make safe and meaningful choices and reduces the potential for greater anxiety and second thoughts.
Practice self-compassion – It is easy to engage in negative internal dialogue when you feel overwhelmed; feelings of guilt, shame and guilt are not uncommon and this cycle has an impact on our mental well-being. Practicing self-compassion means giving yourself the space and grace to make mistakes, seek rest, and seek ways to incorporate self-care into our routines.
Disconnect – There are pros and cons to living in a 24/7 world. While it’s wonderful to have the world at your fingertips, constantly seeing a slew of news, updates, emails, messages and job requests it can get overwhelming. Both the brain and the body need rest. Once a week (or more!), Turn off all devices and disconnect. Start with an hour and use that time just to be in the moment or practice your awareness.
Practice the SEEDS – SEEDS is an acronym used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) which stands for: S.to sleep, AndOur, AndSpend D.octor, and S.elf-Care /S.obedience. Practicing SEEDS begins by checking with yourself how you are or how you feel to help you understand why you feel that way. For example: Have you eaten and are you eating nutritiously? Did you move your body today and did you get enough sleep last night? Did you remember to take the medications your doctor prescribed? If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, SEEDS can guide you in planning to get back on track and change the way you feel.
Ask for help – Talking to a mental health professional is a safe and realistic option, and seeking support can provide you with a compassionate place to open up to your concerns or learn evidence-based skills to help manage intense emotions.
“The holiday season can seem like an act of juggling made more and more exhausting by the demands of work, scheduled meals with extended family and expectations of giving gifts. Too often, holidays are overshadowed by intense stress and feeling overwhelmed. Prioritize ours. mental health and our well-being, which requires a little effort, is within reach by taking only a few small steps in the weeks and months to come. ” said Katherine Early, LMSW, Group Therapist, Compass Virtual.
Protecting our mental health is not selfish or shameful; our emotions are valid and can tell us that our needs may not be met. Seek professional behavioral health support if symptoms last longer than two weeks or affect your daily life.
Associate Director, Brand Management, Compass Health Center
Picture 1: 7 ways to achieve balance for better mental health this holiday season
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