By: The Elliot Behavioral Health Services Team

As the holiday season approaches, the air is filled with excitement, festive decorations, and the promise of quality time with loved ones. However, for many individuals, the holidays can also bring about stress, loneliness, and a range of emotional challenges. However, there are steps you can take to prioritize and maintain emotional well-being during this time.

Acknowledge Emotions: 

The holidays can evoke a variety of emotions, both positive and negative. While some people experience joy, gratitude, and connection, others may feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even isolated. It’s essential to acknowledge and accept these emotions, recognizing that feeling a mix of sentiments during this season is okay.

Manage Expectations: 

One common source of holiday stress is the pressure to meet societal and personal expectations. Whether it’s creating the perfect meal, finding the ideal gifts, or attending numerous social events, the burden of unrealistic expectations can take a toll on mental health. Setting realistic expectations and prioritizing self-care can help alleviate some of this pressure.

Balance Social and Alone Time: 

While holiday gatherings are an opportunity for connection, it’s crucial to balance social interactions with alone time if needed. Introverts may find it beneficial to schedule moments of solitude to recharge. On the other hand, those who feel lonely during the holidays can explore ways to connect with others, such as joining community events or reaching out to friends and family.

Create Boundaries: 

Healthy boundaries are crucial for mental well-being, especially during the holiday season. It’s okay to decline invitations, take breaks from social media, or limit the time spent on certain activities. Communicating boundaries respectfully can help reduce stress and ensure a more enjoyable holiday experience.

Prioritize Self-Care: 

Amid the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to neglect self-care. However, taking time for oneself is essential for maintaining mental health. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness, getting enough sleep, or engaging in activities that bring joy, incorporating self-care routines can make a significant difference in emotional well-being.

Seek Support: 

If the holiday season becomes particularly challenging, reaching out for support is a sign of strength. Talk to a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Having a support system can provide comfort and guidance during difficult times.

The holiday season can be both magical and demanding, affecting mental health in various ways. By acknowledging emotions, managing expectations, creating boundaries, and prioritizing self-care, individuals can navigate this time with greater ease. Remember that caring for your mental health is a gift to yourself and those around you, fostering a more joyful and fulfilling holiday experience.


Elliot Behavioral Health Services is staffed by a team of mental health professionals who tailor evaluation and treatment services to each patient. If you need support, please call us at 603-668-4079 to make an appointment.