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10 Tips for Better Mental Health This Holiday
Ten easy ways to reduce your holiday stress and improve your overall mood now as well as anytime you feel overwhelmed.
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The holidays are, for many, their favorite time of year. However, along with the cheer often comes overwhelm and stress. Days become busy, hectic, and there’s a lot going on as we finish out what has got to be one of the most stressful years many of us have had for a while. It’s important to take time, every day, to focus on your mental health. While that may seem like a lot, there are actually some very simple ways to improve your mood and emotions. Here are ten ways you can feel your best every single day!
Create a Gratitude Journal
Expressing gratitude has been shown in several studies to impact your overall wellbeing and increase happiness. Taking time to actually write down what you are thankful for will ensure that you bring gratitude to the forefront of your mind. Try pairing your morning coffee or tea with a brief journaling session. Even the simplest of things, like a sunny day or a snuggle with your dog, is something to be grateful for.
Experiment in the Kitchen
When you go outside your comfort zone and try something new, you are growing, and self-improvement is a positive for your mental health! Check out all of our fun recipes at YUM and set aside some time today to expand your cooking repertoire.
Phone a Funny Friend
Laughter triggers endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. So call your kooky cousin or your blunt bud if you know they can crack you up. Even if no one comes to mind, watch a funny YouTube video or tune into “Sell This House”; Tanya and Roger will surely have you chuckling.
Channel Your Inner Child and Color
Coloring with crayons is calming and can put your mind into an almost meditative state. Tune out your daily stressors and bring out your inner child. Art therapy exists for a reason as do adult coloring books. Get in the holiday spirit with this Christmas Coloring Book for Adults.
Spend Time with Your Fur-Baby
Owning a dog has been associated with several health benefits such as lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that being around pets reduces cortisol, the hormone that is associated with stress. If you don’t have one of your own, tune into “Lucky Dog” to get those same feel good vibes!
When you help others, you also help yourself. Volunteering has been shown to counteract the effects of stress, anxiety, and anger. Even if you are unable to volunteer in-person, there are many available options to help out others from home. You can write letters to senior citizens or sick children (google to find several charities that will send them for you), or, you can help the visually impared through your phone with the app, Be My Eyes.
Even if you are feeling down, the simple act of smiling has been shown to have mood-boosting benefits. Just like a yawn, a smile can be contagious. So, turn that frown upside down and pass it on!
There are a host of benefits for your health that come with exercise, both physical and mental. Exercising increases those feel-good endorphins. It is also a great way to get your mind to focus on the moment, reducing the worry and stress that may otherwise occupy that space. From running, to biking, to yoga, there is a type of exercise for everyone. Find what you enjoy the most and get moving!
Soak Up Some Sun
Vitamin D is something we all need, yet many of us are lacking. The vitamin is obtained primarily through sun exposure. Low levels are often tied to depression. Take your workout outdoors, go for a walk, garden, or spend time on your porch, if it isn’t too cold where you live. If so, even sitting by the window can help, so open those blinds, and let in the light.
Imagine a Getaway
While traveling is an ideal way to have new experiences that improve our mental health, it’s not always feasible. Luckily, you don’t need to leave your home to create a similar scenario for your mind. Visualizing a getaway, possibly with the help of an episode of “Escape to the Country,” can remove any negative thoughts and improve your overall mood.
Get more great inspiration and ideas for the holidays on Dabl! Click here to find out where to watch, and check our schedule here!