December is here and that means we are less than 30 days away from the New Year! New Year’s is typically a time for resolutions and promises, but why wait until then to get started on your goals? Staying happy and healthy during the winter months especially during holiday season can be mentally and physically exhausting, especially during this Covid-19 era, where just about everything seems more challenging.
According to Healthline, who conducted a 2016 survey around mental health, found that over 60% of all respondents felt some stress during the holiday season. This means it is highly likely that you, a colleague or a friend has experienced the pressures of the holiday season. You are not alone!
Here are four useful tips to help jumpstart your New Year’s wellness plans!
- Focus on the things you can control
As someone who is somewhat of a control freak, this one is a hard one but truly helpful. With so many factors and things to consider that are out of your control, why not focus on the things you can control? Then you no longer have to try and control what family or co-workers are doing, giving you more productive time for what is important. Plus the things you can control are more manageable and help set realistic expectations. For instance in the workplace. you can begin planning your projects ahead of time so when the holidays come you are not scrambling to get your work done. Or for family dinners, discuss ahead of time with your family to stay away from topics like politics and religion. By planning ahead, you are able to pace your workload and have time to adjust if anything unexpected comes down the pipeline.
- Be kind to yourself
Did you know we have around 12,000-50,000 thoughts a day and 80 percent of them are negative? Take control of the narrative and change your thoughts. Things are busy during this time and it can get easy to get caught up in the day to day, but you must remember to carve out time for yourself. Each week when you are planning your schedule, make sure to add in time to do things that only you like to do. This time will allow for you to de-stress, reflect and recharge. If you are not 100 percent for yourself, how can you be 100 percent for others? When you do interact with others, show kindness and a helping hand. Mental Health.org reports that evidence shows helping others can also benefit our own mental health and wellbeing. Be kind to yourself and others during this season. Remember life is a marathon, not a sprint.
The CDC cites that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Wayne Giles M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health, suggests “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” It is vital during this season and for your overall health to get an average of seven hours of sleep a day, so be sure to turn off distractions before bed time for a restful sleep. Your body and mind will thank you for it
- Talk to a mental health expert
There have not been many positives to come from the pandemic but one is that in the past 20 months we have seen a drastic increase in mental health awareness. Talk therapy is no longer seen as taboo and is gaining more mainstream acceptance. This trend is likely to continue with focus on a variety of mental health needs. There are various apps available and other resources to seek mental health support from an expert.
The holiday season is often seen as a time for renewal and restoration. I am confident that applying these tips will help you get refocused and re-centered on your goals for the New Year! Now more than ever, we need to be aware of our mental wellness and be proactive in staying safe and sane. You got this!