The holidays can be a stressful time of year, and taking care of your mental health is important.  Our Behavioral Health team shared their tips for minimizing stress and enjoying the holidays.

“Try not to over-commit and don’t forget to use self-care. The holidays can be stressful, so make sure you are getting enough sleep, remember to eat healthy as much as possible, and use self-care practices like deep breathing, yoga and walks to keep stress in check.”

– Annie Steil, Behavioral Health Consultant


“If you don’t have family around avoid isolation and make a plan for the day – volunteer or attend a community meal. Being alone only makes us think more about the people we have lost or used to spend holidays with.”

– Dijana Dugalic, Outreach Therapist


“During the holidays there are four things I make sure to do for myself, and recommend to others:

1. Focus on gratitude, and intentionally looking for the good things in your life like spending time with kids and family.

2. Watch out for expectations, and don’t fall victim to ‘should thinking.’ For example how your kids should act, what you should wear or things you should have done during the year. Lower your expectations and enjoy the present moment.

3. Spend time doing activities that bring in energy. If holiday parties are fun but leave you exhausted, schedule downtime the day after to reboot emotionally and physically.

4. Lastly, treat yourself with kindness and meet yourself where you are at. This time of year can be especially hard if you have lost a loved one in the last year.”

– Kathy Warren, Behavioral Health Director


“On your lunch break, bundle up, turn off your cell phone, and take a mindful walk! This is a great way to recharge for the rest of your workday. ”

– Kirby Warren, Psychiatric Nurse

“When coping with holiday stress three strategies come to mind for me:

1. Take care of yourself. Treat yourself with compassion by taking a bubble bath, listening to music or watching a funny or uplifting hallmark movie.

2. Focus on thoughtful versus expensive gifts. For example homemade gifts or heartfelt cards. Don’t pressure yourself to spend money you don’t have because it is the holidays.

3. Assist others by practicing random acts of kindness. Volunteer to serve a holiday meal at the shelter or make food for someone that you care about.

– Lara Hanson, Behavioral Health Consultant


Heading into the last few weeks of 2018, keep these tips in mind and remember to reach out for support from friends, family or a professional if you start to feel overwhelmed.

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