10 Ways to Stay Mentally Healthy This Holiday Season

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By Hannah Cline on December 11, 2017

If you’re like many, it’s not difficult to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season – a season filled with joys and stress all at the same time. So what can you do to stay mentally healthy?

Thomas Milam. M.D., of Carilion Clinic's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine shared his top 10 ways to stay mentally healthy this holiday season. Have a look.

1. ‪Practice gratitude. Gratitude improves emotional and physical health, strengthens relationships and communities, enriches human life, energizes, inspires and transforms, so go out of your way to be grateful.

2. ‪Stay connected to your friends, loved-ones and those with like interests. Is there a friend or family member you have been meaning to reach out to? Call them! (Or at least friend them on Facebook.)

3. ‪Find time to do what you enjoy. No one else will make this time for you, so make an appointment with yourself to do something that brings you joy this holiday season. ‪

4. Build your community. Volunteer and give back to those in need. Make this an act, not just a thought.

5. ‪Take care of your physical self. Good physical health will help with your mental health, so be thinking about what unhealthy habits you can leave behind in the new year and which new ones you can embrace and sustain.

6. ‪Try something new. Challenge yourself to learn something new: a musical instrument, a new language, writing in journal or anything that can start a new chapter in your life.

7. ‪Learn to cope with stress. Mindfulness, yoga, walking and reading are a few things that help combat stress. ‪

8. Rest and refresh. Give yourself permission to sleep in a bit when you can, to take a break, to step away for a few moments and just be still. ‪

9. Stop and smell the roses. Make time to do nothing, or literally buy a rose and smell it—small moments when we stop and just breathe can be very refreshing.

10. ‪Ask for help. We are all in this together. Others are stressed too. You are not the only one. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a friend, colleague or family member—allowing them to help you is a gift you give to them!

Enjoy the holidays!