The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy and celebration, but there are a variety of reasons why your days may not be merry and bright around the holiday season. It can be a packed social calendar, deadlines at work, the loss of a loved one, sunless winter days, or all of the above. According to the American Psychological Association, 38% of people surveyed said their stress increased during the holiday season, which can lead to challenges with our mental health.
Here are some tips for coping with these challenges and for a happy & healthy season:
- Stick to the basics! Prioritize good sleep, fresh air & light, movement & exercise, nature, nutritious balanced meals (plus some holiday treats!)
- Feel your feelings. Take time and space to identify the way you’re feeling and acknowledge those emotions.
- Set your limitations and boundaries, and stick to them!
- Spread some joy! Find a way to give back or support others.
- Find joy in the different! Be open and creative about what this time means to you and how you’d like to spend it. Take this opportunity to build new traditions.
- Be kind to yourself! Try not to romanticize your typical holiday plans or feel pressure to participate in typical holiday customs that aren’t for you.
- Reach out! Connecting and finding new ways to connect – virtually on Facetime, Zoom, phone calls or texts, or the old fashioned way of writing a letter or sending a card.
- Practice gratitude! Take time each day to find things to be thankful for.
Local Mental Health Resources & Hotlines:
Peer Assisted Care Team (PACT): If you or someone you know is in distress related to their mental health or substance use, reach out to PACT for support.
Thursday to Sunday, 6 pm to 12 midnight (all through the holidays)
Call 1-888-261-7228 or text 778-839-1831 – available in English and Farsi
Open Door Community Hub: Looking for a place to have a coffee, snack, read a newspaper, or socialize with fellow community members? Everyone is welcome!
Fridays in December, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
North Van City Library – 14th & Lonsdale
Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311
Sunshine Coast/Sea to Sky: 1-866-661-3311
Kuu-us Crisis Line (for First Nations, by First Nations): 1-800-588-8717
Seniors Distress Line: 604-872-1234
Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1am)
Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)