Thriving during the Holidays despite mental illness - part 1

This is the first in a 3-part series on not just surviving the holidays with mental illness, but thriving during what can be a stressful, overwhelming time. Check out our 12 tips for enjoying the season, from our guest writer Rebecca.

Tip 1 – Relax with Your Favorite Flick 

Pop some popcorn, grab a favorite beverage, put your feet up and watch your favorite movie. Even if you’ve watched it 100 times this year, there's something about a good movie that can get the serotonin flowing. You deserve some feet up time. You mental health warrior, you! 



Tip 2 – Volunteer   

If you’re up to it, give your time. Losing yourself in service to others can be one of the very best ways to find yourself. Try contacting your local food bank, hospital, retirement center, or mental health agency. Everyone needs a hand this time of year. Share yours.



Tip 3 –  No expectations

Set yourself up for success during this “everyone wants your time” season. Don’t overbook yourself. Instead of saying yes to 8 holiday parties, family functions, or church/synagogue/temple events, chose the number of celebrations you feel you can manage. You don’t have to do them all. Self-care matters, so just say no. 

Tip 4 - Grounding Exercises

You can find these lifesaving and peace inducing moments of clarity all over the Internet.  Try the 5-step technique shared in the book, “Overcoming Anxiety” by Psychologist David Berndt, Ph.D. Here’s how to do it (remember to breathe):

  • Name five things you can see in the room with you.
  • Name four things you can feel.
  • Name three things you can hear right now.
  • Name two things you can smell right now.
  • Name one good thing about yourself.



Stay tuned for our next part in the series and comment below if you have any additional suggestions for how you thrive during the holidays!


About the Author: Rebecca was once a member of corporate America...and then she woke up. An avid flower gardener, jazz/blues singer, writer, and classic car buff, Rebecca is extremely passionate about helping to end the stigma of mental illness. "If my story and I can help one soul in the same way so many people are rallying to help me right now, my life will be all that I've ever wanted it to be."