Coming Home for the Holidays: Creating a Safe Space for Your Emotional Well-Being

Coming home for the holidays looks different for everyone. But no matter the physical location of what “home for the holidays” may look like for you, there is a possibility that stress, anxiety and depression could be a part of it.

Each Mind Matters, is reframing “coming home for the holidays” as finding a safe space for your emotional well-being and coming home to it. Finding this safe space might be different for everyone. We’ve provided some self-care tips below to help find that space to take you home:

Reach Out. The holidays can be a season where we tend to be a little kinder, lend a helping hand a bit more, and take the time to do a good deed. It’s important to also remember to take care of our own mental health. Almost half of us will experience a mental health challenge at some point during our lifetime. Remember – you are not alone.

Take a Break and a Breath. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and steal a little “me” time this holiday season. One way to do this is to try mindful breathing, which is known to reduce  feelings of stress and anxiety. And if the season looms ahead like a perilous obstacle of family gatherings, office parties and other panic-inducing social experiences, try reading this Each Mind Matters’ blog for tips to overcome social anxiety: Overcoming Party Paralysis: A Guide to the Holidays from Someone with Social Anxiety.

Enjoy Nature. With the winter season comes shorter days which can lead to spending less time outdoors. However nature and sunlight lifts our mood, restores the spirit, and improves focus and clarity to help us feel better overall. Consider these tips to spend more time outdoors during the winter, or bring the outside in: Enjoy morning coffee or tea outdoors, go for a walk during lunch, visit a local mountain town, invest in indoor plants, take a weekend hike, or open up the blinds. For more tips, check out this Each Mind Matters’ blog for more information about the mental health benefits of spending time outdoors: Reconnect with Nature for Your Mental Health

Enjoy the Journey. Life is a messy, beautiful journey of ups and downs. But sometimes the pressure for everything to be perfect can get in the way of simply enjoying the things we look forward to, especially during the holiday season. 

Try these tips to help slow down:

  • Practice self-compassion
  • Accept that perfection is unattainable
  • Know that it is self-care to say no
  • Spend time participating in activities, and with people, you enjoy, or have some quality alone time
  • Prioritize activities that make you happy. Take something off your schedule that is adding more stress than joy

Read this Each Mind Matters’ blog for additional tips to help you enjoy the journey: Three Tips to Practice Happiness.

Whatever coming home looks like to you this time of year, take care of yourself and know you are not alone. We invite you to continue to follow our holiday blog series, Caring for Yourself and Others: A Holiday Support Guide, this month.

Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter @EachMindMatters to be notified when each blog is posted. Next up: Creating a Stigma-Free Squad: Tips for Dispelling Mental Health Stigma.

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