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Self-Care and Mental Health for the Holidays 2020

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Well, we've almost made it to the end of the year. It has been an incredibly traumatic year for us all and we are living through unprecedented circumstances with the ongoing pandemic and political unrest. We have been storing stress in our bodies since March, with most of us in our limbic systems this entire year. We also have been experiencing another pandemic of mental health challenges, as depression is at an all-time high. It has been a year that has brought us much grief as we have been mourning the sense of normal that we once knew, plans that have been put on hold or cancelled, and loved ones we have lost to Covid-19. For many of us, it has been months since we have been able to safely gather with friends, family, and loved ones. Although social distancing is still needed to fight this virus, it has been very hard for all of us being in isolation.

Our holiday season looks very different than any other year, as we continue to practice social distancing to keep our families, friends, and loved ones safe. Although we must continue to cope with these unforeseen challenges, that does not mean self-care must be put on the back burner. Here are some tips to take care of yourself this holiday season:

  1. Acknowledge and name that this holiday season is different than previous years. It is okay if you are not feeling as festive as you have in the past. It has been an incredibly difficult year for us all and it isn't realistic to have the same expectations for this season as you did in previous years. Giving yourself the space to acknowledge can help us to lead our emotions from a place of acceptance.

  2. Give yourself space for grief. As mentioned earlier, many of us are grieving the different things that Covid-19 has affected. It is important that we allow ourselves the time and space to grieve the things that we are mourning.

  3. Maintain healthy sleeping, eating, and exercise habits. Our physical health and mental health are related to one another. When we neglect our physical health, our mental health will suffer as sleep, eating habits, and exercise all affect our emotions.

  4. Connect with others in new ways. This one is very important, as human beings need connection to others despite the need for continued social distancing. Just because we must continue to practice social distancing, that does not mean that we need to disconnect from others. The pandemic has made it harder to maintain our different relationships, as we cannot simply meet up for coffee, run into each other at work or school, or hang out in person. Zoom and other virtual platforms allow for us to still see our loved ones. Having a virtual hangout definitely isn't the same as seeing people in person, however it still helps to maintain our connections with others.

  5. Take little moments for yourself to reflect, rest, and recharge every day. This year has forced upon us challenging circumstances and it is important that we allow ourselves time to reflect upon it.

  6. Take time to disconnect from your phone. We must allow ourselves breaks from scrolling endlessly.

  7. Take time to nurture yourself. Allow yourself the time to attend to your body and soul.

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