Thriving during the Holidays despite mental illness - part 2

This is the second 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 5 - Stay Connected with Your Tribe  

Even though distance and the expense of travel may keep us from spending time with friends and family this holiday season, you can stay connected with your inner circle with just a click on the screen of your laptop, tablet, or smart phone. Tap into FaceTime or Skype and enjoy a video call with those you love. It's the next best thing to actually being together physically.

Tip 6 – Give Yourself 3 Happy Memories

Find a favorite chair, coffee house, car, kitchen, sofa, or bubble bath, then take a few minutes to practice your deep breathing exercise to center your spirit. Now, think back -  waaaay back if you must - and allow yourself to revisit 3 of your brightest and shiniest holiday memories. That red velvet dress when you were 4. The baseball glove signed by Ken Griffey, Jr. Your first “big boy” bike. A holiday visit to a remote island. Whatever memories bring you the greatest joy.  Find them. Honor them. Breathe them in.

Tip 7 – Holiday Lights

Many places around the world have holiday light extravaganzas that incorporate the diversity of the holidays. Check out your local zoo, community organizations or check out the sub-divisions in your area. Sometimes just a drive around your own city or a walk through your own village can be eye-opening. Bring hot chocolate and play holiday tunes to make it extra special.

Tip 8 – Make it Tangible: Donate

Bless another by physically taking a donation of those things sitting around the house that you don’t need or can no longer use. Help someone who has less, have more. That old mp3 player or CD boom box. Hey - there’s that funky floral fuchsia shirt you never really liked that Aunt Martha gave you that’s been hanging in your closet since you were 14. Nothing quite like a tug on the heart strings and a little light in the darker recesses, than to be reminded of your willingness to give to help another. Use GiveBackBox.com to make it super easy!

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

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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."