Do Holiday Traditions Boost Your Mental Health?

Counselor in Asheville, NCHolidays are usually spent with friends, family, and loved ones. It's a time of thankfulness, cheer and goodwill. However, sometimes the holidays can be stressful and overwhelming. Family traditions are a given this time of year. Multiple meals, family gatherings and other things that are done each and every year can be something to look forward to. It can also be stressful. Some may question whether or not holiday traditions are good for those struggling with mental health disorders. Looking for a holiday depression counselor in Asheville, NC? Call Legacy to get the help you need.

There are two ways to look at whether or not holiday traditions can boost your mental health. No matter how you feel this holiday season, we will take a look at both situations.

The first scenario sees holiday traditions as a great way to become happier. How? Most people remember their past good times during the holidays. Memories can make them excited, hopeful and ready for the holidays.

According to nostalgia expert Krystine Batcho, Ph.D., who's also a professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY, “People feel more nostalgic during the holidays because many memories are reawakened and relationships renewed. Holidays remind us of special times and help us keep track of what has changed and what has remained the same in our lives—and in ourselves.”

On the other hand, many people get what is called the holiday blues. Depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses are at an all-time high during this time of year. It's possible this happens because the holidays are quite hectic. Gift buying and giving, spending time with family and friends, and not having enough downtime can be factors contributing to the holiday blues. However, there are ways to minimize your feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety and more. Follow these tips when you begin to feel overwhelmed this upcoming season.

Remember to keep things realistic. If you can't bring yourself to enjoy every family gathering, pick and choose the ones you'd rather attend. Be confident in saying no to the others. Your mental health is more important than pleasing others.

When you're feeling down and out, consider volunteering at an organization in your area that needs help. Whether you choose a homeless shelter, domestic violence shelter, canned food drive or other organization within the community, giving back will be a great mental health boost this time of year.

Exercise is a great way to overcome bouts of anxiety and depression. When you're feeling down and out or nervous, take time to exercise. Just the smallest amount will get your mind in a better state. Consider walking or jogging a mile, jumping on a treadmill for 30 minutes, or doing a few yoga poses. Getting your body moving and your heartrate up will help to combat anxiety and depression.

Know your limits this holiday season. It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everything that's going on. Don't overdo it. Trying to get everything done and attending every event or gathering might not seem like a bad idea until it's all said and done. Overdoing it may cause you to go into the new year tired, overwhelmed, depressed or anxious. Set limits and stick to them.

Whether you get a mental boost from holiday traditions or become overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, or anxious, we hope this information helps you understand how you can get through the holidays.

Holiday Depression Counselor in Asheville, NC

Need help with your mental illness? When you're ready to talk with our staff of professionals, contact Legacy Asheville. Our dependable counselor in Asheville, NC can help you with mental health services that work.

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