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Mental health tips to get through the holidays

By Christine Halpaus
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The holidays are a busy time of year for most of us. Between all kids’ school celebrations, work holiday parties, and gatherings with friends and family…how can you juggle everything, all while supporting your mental health? Here are five ideas.

  1. Consider what traditions you and your family enjoy and make those the priority. You don’t need to force a tradition for tradition’s sake. Your mental health will certainly benefit when you are excited about the activities you’re planning for.
  2. Continue your healthy eating. The holidays are fun when everyone is making their favorite dishes and desserts to share but it’s also important to maintain your healthy eating habits. What we eat has an impact on our mental health. Try to balance out the extra sweets and rich dishes with your established healthy habits to support your mental health.
  3. Keep up your activity levels when you can. With all of the events, your workout schedule may change a bit and that’s okay. Squeeze in activity when and where you can. The endorphins will help your mental health. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t maintain your normal schedule as the guilt will have a negative impact. Reframe it to be proud you squeezed it in!
  4. Limit alcohol. While alcohol is usually present at celebratory dinners and parties, it’s important to be mindful of how much you are consuming throughout the holiday season. Alcohol is a depressant and may work against your efforts to take care of your mental health. The CDC recommends two drinks or less for men per day and one drink or less for women per day. When out celebrating the holidays, consider a non-alcoholic (NA) beverage. If hosting, be sure to have at least one NA option available so that your guests have the option as well.
  5. Create moments to recharge. This one is tricky in a busy season but also necessary to care for yourself. Plan ahead for moments that you can take a break to meditate, read a book, journal or listen to a favorite album.

We are wishing you the best this holiday season!


Christine Halpaus, a training specialist at Vitality, is a former K-6 educator. She earned her Masters in Teaching from George Mason University. Christine and her husband enjoy whatever time they can get outside whether kayaking in Lake Michigan, taking long walks in the sun or the snow with their three rescue dogs, enjoying the evening on a patio, or finding quiet in nature outside of Chicago.

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