The holidays can be a magical time of year, families get together who haven’t seen each other for months, there’s that crazy Uncle who always has stories about you when you were kid, your Aunty Doris’ famous mince pies, and of course, there is always someone wanting to ask you how you’ve been getting on this year.
The fact is, the holidays can be really draining for many people, but for introverts, it can be very overwhelming. Particularly for people struggling with mental health issues or who are going through anorexia treatment or any other kind of treatment for eating disorders, the holidays can be very tough.
The most important thing you can do is learn what your triggers are, learn what overwhelms you and what your limits are.
Having this knowledge will really help you to recognize the moment before you hit your limit so that you can step away from the hustle and bustle and the holiday food, and regroup mentally, coming back stronger.
Here are five things you can do during the holidays to look after yourself and help to keep your recovery on track.
Planning is a big part of any mental health concerns. Many people who are undergoing any form of treatment have to be very intentional about how they spend their time, to keep them on the right path.
Factor this in when you are planning your holiday activities and let your friends and family know that you need some pre-warning to ensure you can cope with the changes going on.
Just as you’re planning your holiday routine, it is vital that you factor in downtime and time for you. You must be very strong about this and stick to it, whatever it takes make sure that you get your ‘you time’.
Exercise is great for mental health and wellbeing and if you’re feeling overwhelmed then exercise can be very helpful.
It doesn’t have to be much, just a quick walk around the block to clear your head will be a good way to break up the day.
The very idea of going to the store on Christmas eve is enough to fill even the strongest person with a sense of dread, but the noise and the hustle and bustle can actually be very calming for some people.
If anything, at least the car journey there will be quiet and no one will blame you for spending an extra five minutes in the car by yourself, you’ll probably see others doing exactly the same!
Mental health is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it takes brave people to break the stigma and start talking about it.
Be honest with your friends and family, tell them you need a bit of extra time and consideration this year, by opening up you have given yourself a good reason to take the space you need without offending anyone.