1. Remember you are not alone: no matter what your friends’ social media looks.
2. Plan ahead: create a support system for yourself now – through friends, rituals, enrolling in a yoga or exercise class – so you have tools available should something challenging arise.
3. Conduct a “Holiday Audit”: Examine what brings you joy, what brings you stress.
4. “No” is a complete sentence and it’s OK not to say yes to every invitation or gift request.
5. Exercise: a brisk walk, a game of tag with kids, parking farther from the store entrance, taking the stairs, a quick hike with a friend before hitting the mall.
6. Create new traditions and rituals that are meaningful: lighting a candle at the table to remember a loved one, skipping the office party for a more fulfilling volunteer opportunity.
7. Whole body health: Getting enough sleep, proper nutrition and nurturing your body and mind with healthy practices like prayer, meditation, massage, or taking in an uplifting book or movie.
8. Unplug: disconnect from the news, social media, email. Embrace uninterrupted you and family time.
9. Get local: there are numerous resources for navigating this time of year, from food and nutrition workshops at grocery stores, holiday support services at religious and spiritual centers, special holiday offerings at fitness centers … Pick-up store event calendars or look up holiday specials for opportunities that speak to you.
10. Set limits: Limits help balance expectations within yourself and for others. Setting up healthy boundaries with family members, work through wish list with children and explore what are meaningful gifts, create a realistic budget
11. Be grateful: Numerous scientific studies support an association between gratitude and happiness. Even in the most challenging dysfunctional, or seemingly disappointing situations, find something to be grateful for. Studies support that if we can find something to be grateful for, our well-being follows suit.
For those experiencing an emotional crisis, there are mental health support centers throughout the state and Jefferson County. To connect with someone who can assist you confidentially, anytime, call Colorado Crisis Support line at 844-493-TALK or text TALK to 38255. – Jennifer LeDuc