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When we talk about coping with a mental health disorder during the holidays, we usually talk about self-care. Self-care is the many different ways we practice taking care of ourselves and meeting our needs for mind, body, and spirit. Easily, we could list dozens if not hundreds of little ways which have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety symptoms and help you cope. However, there are a few basic strategies for coping which serve as the foundation for all of your self-care needs during the holidays.

Why are the holidays so stressful?

Holidays can be triggering and stressful for many reason. From the anticipation of the holidays coming, to the people we have to spend the holidays with, to the hustle and bustle of our local markets, to what might be the anniversary of a specific trauma- there is plenty of stimuli. Whether we are struggling with depression or anxiety or other symptoms of trauma, the holidays are a challenge in some way for many people.

Let go of expectations

Holidays are supposed to be ‘picture perfect’. This is one of the highest expectations we set, which often lead us to ‘failure’ when people start acting like people, and life starts happening on life’s terms. One of the first and most important things we can do is let go of the expectation that everything and everyone, especially ourselves, has to be a certain way. By letting go of this expectation, we can stop being rigid and start being flexible. Bending and adapting where necessary helps us maintain our mental health.

We have different expectations depending on who we are and what our life circumstances are. Our expectations might involve a certain family member not acting a certain way, our eating behaviors to go a certain way, or for or anxious thinking to not be present. We have to remember that we have our own struggles and so does everyone else. Letting go of our expectations helps us come from a more compassionate place toward ourselves and toward others.

Indulge in more self-care than normal

Part of the expectations we have surrounding the holidays is that we will not need to do any of our normal routine because, for the holidays, we will be able to feel and act ‘normal’. We want tradition to be tradition and for that ‘picture perfect’ holiday to happen without interruption. Unfortunately, our mental health does not take a holiday during the holidays. We have to take care of ourselves and meet our own needs on our own exactly as we would every other day of the year- if not more. When we need to bow out of holiday gatherings in order to ground ourselves and replenish- we do. If we need to take a nap, take a shower, exercise, draw, journal, meditate, get to a 12-step support meeting, or call a friend to check in, we do just that.

You can live life with confidence. Everyone has a story before they come to treatment. When you arrive at The Guest House Ocala, you arrive to open, welcoming arms. Our treatment programs are customized concierge style to meet your every unique need in order to heal from trauma, addictions, and other related mental health issues. Call us today for information on life at the estate: 1-855-483-7800