This ‘most wonderful’ time of the year can pile massive amounts of pressure on our already struggling mental health. It can be the straw that breaks the wise man’s camel’s back. There are many things that we can do to help minimise the stresses of the holiday season, most of which I’m sure you already know, but what about the long term?
It’s a little late to do any long-term work on ourselves and our mental health this close to the height of the holiday season and for those of you who are struggling, I’m sure that many other articles on this site can offer you helpful tips and advice for coping for the next few weeks.
I, however, want to look a little bit further forward, in particular to the resolution part of our typical holiday celebrations. Every year many of us make resolutions in the new year. Some are amazingly ambitious and almost definitely don’t materialise. Some are smaller scale and can be achieved in the first few weeks of the year leaving them long forgotten by the time summer rolls around.
Some of them are recurring also, some of us start each year with the same good intentions, to lose some weight that has been bothering us, to stop drinking so much, to spend less time looking at screens. Each year we fail miserably and make the same resolution every December 31st.
But what if we used our obsession with New Years Resolutions to better ourselves for the next holiday season? Not with our physical appearance and fitting into a certain dress or suit, but with our emotional and mental wellbeing. What if we take everything that we have learned over the past two unpredictable, changing years, and apply it to looking after our emotional health better?
The thing that I have been thinking about a lot lately, and that I think we all have learned recently is: life is too short to be miserable. If your situation isn’t what you want it to be, find the little ways in which you can make it better. Your job is getting you down, making you fearful and stressed?
Make your new years resolution to find a new one by next Christmas, one that makes you happy, makes you feel supported, helps you reach your goals! Where you live isn’t where you want to be, the area isn’t good, or your windows are too small to give you the natural light you crave? Make your resolution to save, budget, and plan your way to a better home that makes you happy.
All too often our resolutions are focused on the physical, or much more tangible things than our mental health, and I understand that resolving to improve our mental state is daunting. But you can break down those bigger resolutions into smaller steps.
Making a few small steps towards improving our lifestyle for the sake of our mental wellbeing is something the version of you 365 days from now will only thank you for. Even if you don’t manage to reach complete mental bliss in a year, you’ll be closer and better off than you are if you don’t start. A few baby steps are better than staying still.
We all deserve to be as happy as possible, take the time to focus on yourself this holiday season, you deserve it!