Holiday Season and Mental Wellness

Definition of Mental Wellness, according to the World Health Organization, is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Especially around the Holiday Season, Mental Wellness becomes an important topic, as the blues that come with the season weigh quite a bit on many of us. Some feel the void a loved one left in them when passed away recently, some feel bad for not being able to afford nice gifts for their loved ones, some feel lonely if they are away from family and friends, or if they do not have any. Or without any reason, some feel sad, depressed and anxious around this time of the year.

Though lovely times with so many activities and interactions, Holidays are stressful times. And if one has already a tendency of being a little depressed, the “too happy, too busy” state of being all the time for over a month does not help at all.

Then what should you do about it? How can you help yourself if you feel that way or a loved one that you know feels depressed?

First of all, establish realistic goals and expectations for the holiday season. Don’t make the holiday season a time to cure past ills. Remember that it is okay to not feel festive. Accept your inner experience and do not try to force yourself to express specific feelings — like happiness or excitement about the holidays. To relieve holiday stress, know your spending limit and stick to it. If you’re on a tight budget, try to enjoy free holiday activities.

If you have experienced a traumatic event recently, like the loss of a job or home, divorce or break-up, or even the death of a loved one, talk to friends and family about your feelings. And, needless to say; if you feel particularly stressed or sad, seek professional help from a counselor or other mental health professional.

Our Mental Health is important at all times and we should be aware of signs of depression, anxiety and extreme stress for ourselves and all our loved ones. We should be vigilant about others’ symptoms and never hesitate to call for help.

After all, we are all human and this could happen to anyone, anytime. And acknowledging and accepting the need for help would be the bravest step to take towards healing.

In this Holiday Season, call someone you know is spending this time alone, give a small gift to a child you know did not get much, hug someone whom you think needs it to cheer up. You will feel much better yourself when you do. Happy Holidays…

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