Effective ways to maintain your mental health and avoid the holiday blues during a global pandemic.

This year, there is much uncertainty as we struggle with navigating holiday plans, balancing careers and maintaining a healthy mindset. It is okay to share feelings of loneliness, sadness, low motivation, and ruminating thoughts because now, more than ever, many others will relate to those feelings. There is nothing ordinary about a global pandemic and this season is unlike any other that we have experienced. Covid-19 has been going on for an extended time; quarantining and being away from loved ones may affect your mental health as a result. Acknowledge any anxiety and depressive feelings and commit to incorporating activities to your daily or weekly routine that will allow you to have an outlet, while helping you feel better.

Make a plan to communicate with 1-2 trusted loved ones multiple times a week through a phone call, video chat, or text to feel a sense of connection, especially if you live alone.

Work on a project you have always wanted to complete to avoid increased feelings of helplessness and aimlessness during this period of loss and sheltering at home. Allot 10-15 minutes once or twice a week to work on your project. Having this time built into your schedule not only provides you with the structure to accomplish your goals it also gives you a sense of purpose. Achieving these small goals may motivate you to want to do more.

As the weather changes and the days are getting shorter, you may experience a decrease in your motivation to engage in activities. During this time, you will need to make conscious choices that will impact your overall mood. Changes that you make do not have to be drastic or overwhelming to be effective. Doing little bits in small time increments serves the same purpose without the added stress. Remember, your goal is to make a conscious effort to battle the holiday blues. 

Try any of the additional activities below to help boost your mood, release tension, relax, and connect with loved ones.

  • Go out 1-2 times a week for a 10-15 minutes’ walk, which allows you to get some fresh air and some sunlight if it’s daytime.
  • Engage in 10-15 minutes of exercise 2-3 times a week, such as weight lifting, stretching, yoga, jogging.
  • Turn on some music and dance.
  • Color 
  • Complete crossword or word search puzzles
  • Participate in a zoom game night with friends and family.
  • Listen to some of your favorite artists and sing along with them. Relish in the joy of your concert.

Make a commitment to include one or two of these activities to your daily routine to begin to experience emotional wellness. Overall, acknowledging your emotions and keeping in touch with loved ones is paramount to getting you through this period of isolation and social distancing. Reach out and stay connected.

I am a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles and offer complimentary 15 min initial consultations. If you are a professional woman seeking counseling, you may click here to schedule an appointment.

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