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Protecting Your Own Mental Health During the Holidays

The holidays are a time for celebrating with family and friends. But with all the extra shopping, decorating and celebrating demands, the holidays can quickly become overwhelming. Here are four tips on how to protect your mental health over the holidays.

1. Put Yourself First

The holiday season is often extremely busy, and with that can come undue stress. Don't forget to put your self-care first. Stick to your positive routines when possible. Don’t allow the holiday season to be an excuse for skipping that exercise or painting class that regularly boosts your mood. Don't skip out on the afternoon walk or yoga if it relieves stress. The benefits of sticking to your self-care routine are both physical and mental and vital.

2. Just Say No

The holiday season often speeds by so quickly that everyone tries to pack too much into too little time. If you need to knock a couple of events off your list, then go ahead and do so. Many seniors may be apprehensive to speak up about feeling overwhelmed. Know your mental and physical limits and be honest with friends and family when declining an invitation. It’s okay to compromise by leaving a party early or not attending at all if it sacrifices your mental and physical health in the slightest. Limiting yourself to a few important celebrations reduces stress while allowing you time to appreciate those chosen celebrations more.

3. Keep an Eye on Your Health

With the holidays come oodles of opportunities to over-indulge. Parties with finger foods, large family meals, eggnog and hot chocolate are just some. It may seem that every corner you turn, someone is offering you a platter of cookies or a slice of cake from an old family recipe. It is perfectly okay to indulge on occasion, but keeping up with your health is vital during the holidays.

Eating rich holiday foods can often leave you feeling sluggish, bloated and out of sync. Maintaining a well-balanced diet keeps your energy levels up and also provide the vitamins and nutrients you need to help ward off many sicknesses that are also passed around during the holidays along with the platters of cookies.

Making sure you allow yourself enough sleep is also an important factor in your health. Lack of sleep can lower your immune system and increase stress levels.

4. Ask for Help

Shopping during the holidays can be stressful. Stores are crowded and traffic is much heavier. This can be overwhelming for almost anyone regardless of age. Don’t think twice about asking family members, friends or the assisted living community staff for help with Christmas shopping. That might include transportation to and from stores, help shopping online or someone buying items for you while they are out.

 The assisted living community in Phoenix helps make these tasks easier for all residents by offering scheduled transportation and events. You can also invite your family to visit you for holiday events within the community and take advantage of the dining spaces and common rooms for entertaining.