Ring in the New Year with a reset for your home and mental health. I’ve put together a guide to help you establish healthy habits for mental health and how to have a New Year reset so you can manage post holiday depression and take on the New Year strong.
Healthy Habits for Your Mental Health
Your mental health can impact a significant amount of your life, including the way you view and move through the world and ability to handle your everyday situations. Creating healthy habits can be a great way to help maintain or improve mental health and make a big difference in your everyday life. This is especially important during and after the Holidays.
What is Post-Holiday Depression?
The holiday season can bring excitement and joy for many but can also bring up past trauma and feelings of loneliness for others. It’s common for many to feel a wave of sadness once the holidays arrive and pass but there are ways to cope.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) describes post-holiday depression as feelings of anxiety and stress that come up around the holidays and may be due to unrealistic expectations or memories connected to the holiday season. It is usually temporary but can affect your energy levels, sleep and ability to concentrate.
This can be challenging for many as it can interfere with your daily routine and activities. Some things that can cause post-holiday blues include:
Time of Year
Daylight Saving Times occurs right before Thanksgiving, and sometimes turning the clocks back just 1 hour can have some negative effects and take time to adjust to.
Alcohol has been shown to contribute to symptoms of depressions and consumption is often part of holiday celebrations.
In addition to alcohol consumption, indulging in your favorite foods and desserts are also a large part of holiday gatherings. A 2019 study shows evidence that over consumption and eating unhealthily can have a negative effect on your mood.
We often can’t say no to gatherings and events during the holiday season. However, overextending yourself can be exhausting and lead to feelings of stress.
Lack of Sleep
Whether from having a full packed schedule, financial stress, or even excitement can often lead to a lack of sleep.
Other factors that can lead to holiday depression include:
- financial trouble
- current events
- grief over death of a loved one or loss of a relationship
Winter Mental Health Tips
One of the best ways to manage and prevent post holiday depression is to be self aware and understand that you can feel these emotions and why. Find a way to work with these seasonal feelings and work with them rather than fighting them. Here are a few winter mental health tips to help you cope:
Reestablish Old Habits
Sometimes when the holidays arrive, we fall out of our habits and routines as our schedules get busier. We forget to make time for ourselves because we are so focused on getting things done and showing up for other people.
A good place to start is to reestablish old habits that make you happy and work for you and your schedule. Some habits include getting restful sleep by avoiding caffeine after 3 p.m. or making your bedroom into a quiet, relaxing and clutter free space.
Another idea is to cut back on social media as constantly seeing and reading information about other people’s lives can promote feelings of low self-worth. Put your phone in another room while sleeping to help cut back on social media and promote better rest as well.
Another great idea is to dedicate some time each day to get some sunshine when you can. It’s a great source of vitamin D and can improve mood and attitude. It’s important that you start slow, these habits don’t all have to be reestablished immediately.
Cut Out the Clutter
Your physical space can affect your mental space, especially when it’s cluttered. Have a new year reset for your home by getting rid of items you don’t need anymore. Donating old clothes and toys that you no longer need and get rid of old boxes and containers you don’t have uses for anymore.
You can start off small by starting in small sections of your house like a closet or a small room.
Get Out and Exercise
Healthy habits for mental health include movement. Exercise has a range of mental health benefits which include relieving stress, improving your mood, helping you get more restful sleep and also help you manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Movement can be different for everyone and it doesn’t always mean you have to go to the gym, unless you want to. You can find something that is enjoyable for you and works best for your body, health and preferences. Try taking a walk, yoga classes or just stretching a few minutes a day can be beneficial.
Take Up Journaling or Get a Planner
There are many proven benefits of journaling and it’s something that can benefit anyone of any age or gender. If you don’t know where to start, you can use journaling prompts or free expression writing which can be effective ways to get your thoughts flowing.
Writing and journaling can help you heal and deal with your feelings in the long and short term. It can also reduce stress and improve your mood. Often, writing out your thoughts and experiences can also help you organize your thoughts and help you gain clarity on your experiences.
If you find that you are often stressed because of your busy schedule, you can also invest in a planner to help you plan your days and weeks better which can help you feel more relaxed and organized.
Share our New Year Reset Tips
Enjoyed these tips? Share them with your loved ones this season!