5 Quick Mental Health Tips for the Holidays

First, I’d like to apologize on the lateness of this post. There are three days until Christmas, and this advice would have been especially helpful about three weeks before Christmas, but I completely forgot to schedule it. My bad, friends.

It’s the most streeeeessful tiiiiiime of the year!

Happy Holidays! It’s time again to start worrying about gifts, your rude and inappropriate uncle, and affording getting your family half-way across the country to see your mom because well, she said so.

In an extremely informal poll I conducted on Facebook, I found that most people seem to dislike the holidays because of the financial aspect. People feel a need to travel, buy gifts, have pretty outfits, send out cards, and host a big dinner or three.

Many other people mentioned things such as politics, having multiple celebrations due to divorce, and the gimme-gimme commercialization of it all.

However, while you’re busy making sure everyone else gets their wishes fulfilled this season, it’s not time to stop taking care of yourself. In the midst of it all, how can you ensure that you still do? Here are 5 top tips to keep your cool through the holidays.

1. Do yourself a HUGE favor. Learn to say no. “No” is a complete sentence that doesn’t require explanation. All together with me now! No. NO. NoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoO.

2. It’s ok to set ground rules when you’re around family. Politics, religion, snide comments about the vegan side dishes, smoking at the dinner table – it’s okay to set these boundaries and stick to them. 

3. Stick to your budget. You still need to pay your bills this month. Don’t allow anyone to push you to feel they deserve more than you can give. This holiday isn’t about presents, it’s about presence.

4. Give *yourself* something to make you smile. Maybe it’s a coffee or hot bath or even just a night reading alone. Don’t forget you; you’re your #1 priority. This time of year I often treat myself to things, recognizing that I force myself to go without more often than not. I just got a $3 pack of hair ties – BIG SPENDER. 

5. Remember, you don’t have to see, talk to, or spend time with anyone you don’t want to. (Refer back to #1). Also remember that if your kids (or YOU) don’t want to hug anyone, you don’t have to. Forced affection is not love, it’s control, and it’s icky. 

I hope you’re able to put some of these holiday tips into action on such short notice. And if you need a permission slip from your internet buddy the Born Again Minimalist, you can totally throw me under the bus. “Sorry, we’re not putting Christmas on the credit card this year, some blogger told me it’s okay.” I’m cool with that.

Happy Holidays to you!

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4 thoughts on “5 Quick Mental Health Tips for the Holidays

  1. zseckley says:

    Better late than never! These are extremely helpful tips, and I can totally understand the $3 splurge. A few months ago, I spent about 20 minutes in the dollar store debating whether or not I should get a new duster that cost a whole $2.50. The final winning argument for buying it was that it was just $2.50 that I could easily afford, and that I would rather spend it if it meant I didn’t have to be in the dollar store any more.
    Happy holidays!

    • Caitlin says:

      I can relate – this was an impulse pickup from an emergency gift run to Walmart (blah, but it’s what’s around) at lunch. They were right there at checkout, reminding me that I was down to two stretched-out and ineffective ones at home, calling my name for $2.98. Now I have approximately five years’ worth.

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