Tips to Make Your Mental Health a Priority
Many people feel added stress and pressure as the holiday season approaches. Who wouldn’t? The holidays can bring a dizzying array of demands on your time, finances, and schedule.
Whether you have insurance, are enrolled in Medicaid region 6/7 (Colorado Community Health Alliance) or are a private pay client. We believe all people in need of treatment should receive it. Reach out to our team for more information and scheduling.
You may be surprised how many people feel the same way you do! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, or even grieving this holiday season, it’s all right to acknowledge those feelings. You do not have to force yourself to try and be happy if you aren’t. Take the pressure off yourself and be honest with friends and family. It’s always ok to take some time for yourself.
If you feel lonely or isolated, seek community. Many religious organizations, community centers, and even senior centers organize activities for the community to participate in this time of year. Do a little research. You may be surprised to find a local book club or coffeehouse hosting meet-ups for people in your area.
Sometimes, it can help to talk with friends and family about your concerns. Reach out via text, a Facetime call, or even suggest a meeting over coffee.
It feels good to do something for someone else. Volunteering can lift your spirits and begin meaningful friendships! Consider dropping off a meal at an elderly neighbor's home or inquire about volunteering at a local animal shelter or library. You could find all sorts of connections and new friends.
We’ve all seen enough holiday movies to know the “imagined ideal” of the holidays. Take a deep breath and let those go! The holidays don’t have to be perfect or exactly as you’ve always celebrated them. People change. Families grow. Rituals change, too.
There are hundreds of unique traditions and lots of different ways to celebrate! Be willing to let some of those deeply-held traditions go so that you have room to create new experiences and memories.
For example, if you always host Christmas dinner and can’t this year, instead of holding on to the loss of that tradition, open yourself up to trying something new. Line up lots of holiday movies and make hot chocolate from scratch. Invite old friends over for dessert. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
Before you start shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend on food and gifts. Then stick to it! There are lots of ways to have fun on a budget. Try some of these alternatives:
Potluck appetizers instead of hosting supper.
Give homemade gifts.
Start a White Elephant gift exchange.
It’s always ok to say no. Saying yes when you want to say no adds stress and can make you feel overwhelmed and resentful. Friends and family will understand that you cannot participate in every activity. Try to select activities that make you happy, and skip those that don’t.
To keep from feeling overwhelmed, make a schedule. Set aside specific dates and times for shopping, baking, and connecting with friends. Save time by shopping online. Plan menus and create shopping lists ahead of time. Make sure you enlist friends and family to help with meal prep and cleanup.
Keep up your healthy habits. Overindulgence around the holidays just makes people feel guilty and stressed. If you’ve found that walking for 30 minutes every day helps you feel better, don’t give it up during the holidays. It’s too important! Try these suggestions:
Have a healthy snack before a holiday party, so you’re not so tempted by sweets and drinks.
Get plenty of sleep.
Practice deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga.
Eat healthy meals.
Skip social media and news stories if they’re causing undue stress.
Sometimes you may still feel overwhelmed, sad, or anxious, no matter what you do. If you’re unable to sleep, have physical complaints, or feel irritable and hopeless, reach out. Talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a mental health professional.
Don’t let concern about costs stop you from seeking help. Many mental health practices accept various forms of insurance or will work with you on private payment plans. Those who are enrolled in our Medicaid program, Colorado Community Health Alliance, are entitled to behavioral health appointments free of charge!
At Connected Roots, we are committed to ensuring all who seek help receive it. Reach out today to schedule a free assessment. We work with you to get the help you need and deserve. We accept all forms of payment and care about creating access to our services. Please inquire about sliding scale fee availability and payment plans. We work with clients who pay privately, use insurance, and are members of Medicaid through Colorado Community Health Alliance.
Our team believes in the support and validation of our clients. We work together to find what works for you! Don’t let the holiday season get you down. Take control. Together, we can find answers and feel better!