5 simple tips to counter the holiday blues

The holidays are around the corner and mental health is a big priority during this time. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental health issue that can show up in late fall and early winter. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of SAD include having low energy, trouble sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, and social withdrawal.

Below are five tips that can help improve your mental health and keep the holiday blues away.

Brighten up your surroundings – A quick and easy way to improve your mood is to brighten up your home. Increase the amount of lighting around you to energize and uplift. Open up curtains during the day to let natural light in. Hang up your decorations early! Decorate your trees and ornaments with twinkling lights. Embrace the holiday season ambiance to help make your space feel warm and cozy.

Find time for your physical health – Find time to engage in physical activity, which is amazing for mental wellness. There are activities for everyone such as exercise, meditation, or yoga. This year virtual races are a great way to connect to people and participate in events while still socially distancing. Signing up for virtual races like the upcoming Five Acres Turkey Trot is a great way to stay active during the holidays. Physical activity will help release energy and provide an outlet for stress relief.

Take a mental wellness break – A fantastic way to help improve your mental health is by taking a mental wellness day. Spend a day doing what makes you happiest. Do the things you enjoy doing and unwind. Drive around your neighborhood and take in the beautiful holiday decorations. Many neighborhoods set up extensive holiday displays and decorations that will be fun to check out and enjoy while still socially distancing.

Reach out to your loved ones – Take opportunities to virtually interact with your friends and family outside of your household. Virtually socializing will help lift your mood and strengthen the meaningful relationships in your life. Take advantage of the season to decorate your home with your family and spend quality time together. It can be easy to fall into a gloomy state of mind, but the people around you help remind you that you are loved.

Use available resources – There are many resources available to help provide support for your mental health when times are tough. Five Acres offers assistance with basic needs, resources, community linkages, and starting the process for additional mental health services. Five Acres offers mental health support through the HOPE line and telehealth services at 800-696-6793 or HOPE@5acres.org. To find a mental health provider near you, contact 211 LA County at https://www.211la.org/ or SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

This holiday season it is important to keep an eye on your mental health. There are many different ways to keep the holiday blues away and Five Acres is here to help.