This time of year brings happiness, joy, togetherness and—last but not least—stress. Here are some tips to keep your mental health from suffering as a result of stress during the holiday season.
With the pressure of preparing for holiday festivities and buying gifts, it can be easy to find yourself getting overwhelmed. Take a moment to slow down and remember the reason for the season. A simple way to do this each day is to practice gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal from now until the New Year, writing down at least one thing you are thankful for each day to help lift your spirits.
The holidays may bring an abundance of parties, dinners and social gatherings. This can be especially difficult for those living with addictions that are closely related to these holiday traditions and memories. Follow some of these tips to help you avoid holiday addiction relapse:
- Know your triggers
- Be mindful of your thoughts and attitude
- Designate a support buddy
- Avoid tempting situations
- Be supportive of yourself
- Consider going to group therapy or rehab during the holidays
Get Enough Sleep
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), sleep loss can have a significant negative impact on the mental and emotional health of people in recovery. Additionally, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that lack of quality sleep also can cause people to relapse. The following tips can help you get better rest:
- Avoid taking daytime naps
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule
- Make your bed an electronic-free zone
- Stay away from nicotine and alcohol products, especially before bedtime
Stick to Your Well Visits
During this time of year, seeing your primary care provider is usually the last thing on your mind. However, it is important to stay up to date on your regular physical and exams. Your primary care doctor is often your first line of contact for identifying and treating various addictions. Depending on your age, gender, health risks and lifestyle choices, your primary care physician will work with you to find the proper tests for you.
How to Help a Loved One Who May be Struggling
When you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, it can be especially difficult during the holidays. Their behavior can lead to financial, legal and relationship issues. Here are some ways you can support your loved one:
- Educate yourself on their disease
- Accept them without judgment
- Seek a support group or counselor
- Try not to enable their behavior
- Have realistic expectations
- Maintain a substance-free environment
- Listen to their thoughts and feelings
- Be patient
- Remember to take care of yourself
Mental Health Services in Ohio
At Southwest General Medical Group, Inc., our team of health care professionals comprehensive services for patients struggling with their mental health. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, visit our website.