For some of us the holidays bring happy memories and fun traditions, but for many more it is a stressful time that can often impact mental health, worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety. The pressures of buying the perfect gift, traveling, loneliness, or just the added busyness can make the holidays exceedingly difficult for those struggling with mental health concerns.

Wherever you fall on the continuum it’s important to remember that not everyone has a mental illness, but everyone has mental health that needs to be prioritized, especially during the holidays. If you’re feeling sad, stressed, or anxious, here are some tips that can make a big difference.

  1. Take time for prayer and meditation. Dr. Andrew Newberg has confirmed through empirical studies that prayer changes the brain.
  2. Don’t cancel therapy to add another activity. Taking care of yourself emotionally and mentally is so valuable. You never know what may come up after those family get togethers—whether they are happy or stressful.
  3. Don’t self-medicate with food, alcohol, or drugs. There’s a big connection between substance use disorders and mental illness. Multiple national population surveys have found that about half of those who experience a mental illness during their lives will also experience a substance use disorder and vice versa.
  4. Reflect on last year’s holiday season—what were the things that went well, and what events or situations triggers some struggles. Planning ahead can make a huge difference.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Next Steps:

How are you prioritizing your mental health during the holidays? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

No more confusion or wondering how you’ll face the roller coaster of life with mental illness. Mental Health Academy is here to take the mystery away, and give you the knowledge and the tools you need to have relationships that last! The time is NOW to get our first course: Trauma.

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