5 ways to look after your mental health this holiday season

2020-12-22
The holiday season is traditionally a time to share joyful moments (and food) with friends and family. However, with coronavirus restrictions around the world, this festive season might be a little different from what we're used to. Since this time can already be stressful and lonely for some, proactively looking after your mental health has never been more important.
 
We've found five evidence-based steps you can take to feel more positive and get more out of life.

Keep active

Staying active is not only great for your physical health and fitness; it's known to improve your mental wellbeing as well. And it doesn't have to be particularly intense for you to feel good. Slower-paced activities like walking or yoga can be great for boosting your mood and increase calmness. So, even if it's as simple something as walking your dog or dancing in your living room, it all counts.

With restrictions and colder temperatures (in the Northern Hemisphere), your usual ways to stay active may be off-limits. Instead, you can try one of these activities:

Person running in snow

Learn new skills

Learning something new or taking up a new hobby is a great way to spend some of the available time we'll have over the next few weeks. Learning new skills can also improve your mental wellbeing by boosting self-confidence, help build a sense of purpose, and help you connect with others.

There are lots of ways to bring learning into your life. Here are a few suggestions:

Table with hobby materials

Eat healthy foods

The holidays are often associated with overindulgence, and we don't think it would be fair to expect people to reduce their intake of tasty holiday foods — at least, not in 2020. With that said, what you eat impacts your mood, and a balanced diet (even if only before and after the holidays) can help you keep a steady mind. And what better way to eat healthier than to gain some cooking skills yourself? Cooking has a way of making people happy — especially when the result is a delicious, homemade meal. Become a "Quarantine Chef" with the help of our long list of food magazines on PressReader.

Hands mixing salad

Live in the moment

Paying more attention to the present moment — mindfulness — can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better. It can change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges. Great ways to practice mindfulness include spending more time in nature, getting enough sleep, doing one thing at a time, and taking some time for yourself. To truly disconnect from the busy world of constant updates, news stories, and demands, we recommend sitting down with a cup of tea and your favorite read on PressReader. It's sure to help you feel more relaxed. 

Connect with others

This year has made it clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing in people of all ages. Although nothing can replace a hug from a loved one or meeting in person, finding alternative ways to interact with others can help you feel close to and valued by other people. With this in mind, here are some ways to connect with your relatives, friends, and colleagues during the holidays:

  • Call someone you haven't talked to in a while
  • Arrange a virtual game or quiz night (you can find great questions in our catalog)
  • Schedule a movie or reading session online
  • Join the virtual holiday party at work (an added bonus: you can wear your sweats)

Three women laughing outside

The take-away

Individually, these tips can't replace the good times we expect from the holidays or the connection we're hoping to feel. But, with a bit of effort and some planning, you can find peace and joy during the holidays. 

We're in this together, and we will make it through this. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season and all the best for the new year.

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