Whether you’re heading home from college for the first time or visiting family you haven’t seen in a while, JED, a leading national nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for teens and young adults, is sharing easy-to-use tips on how to take care of yourself during the holidays, according to a recent press release.
The holiday season is often portrayed as a festive time full of family, friends, and joy. But for some teens and young adults, visiting family, celebrating holidays together, and navigating gatherings can be a source of emotional stress. If you have those feelings, you’re not alone. In recent years, the American Psychiatric Association has found that younger adults were more likely than older adults to say their stress levels increased during the holiday season, and their parents experienced similar emotions.
“When traveling home or leaving school for the holidays, it’s common to experience a mix of emotions ranging from joy and excitement to stress and anxiety,” said Dr. Kurt Michael, adolescent suicidologist and Senior Clinical Director at The Jed Foundation (JED). “Knowing that can help you prepare for challenging situations and take care of yourself.”
Make a Plan
If you feel stressed before the holidays, make a plan to take care of yourself ahead of time. It could include being kind to yourself, planning for downtime, taking a break from social media, moving your body, getting outside, or listening to a relaxing playlist.
Connect With Loved Ones
Although the holiday season brings many families together, some struggle with unresolved tensions, difficult family relationships, or distressing conversations that repeatedly occur at family gatherings. Setting boundaries and making a plan to navigate these conversations and communicate honestly with family members, including sharing how you may be struggling, can help reduce or manage tension and increase connection.
Recognize and Manage Triggers
Holidays can also be an extra challenge for those trying to stick with their recovery goals for eating disorders or supporting their sobriety. Dealing with grief or loss of a loved one can be especially tough this time of year, making coping practices and self-care really important.
Be Kind to Yourself
It can be hard to prioritize self-care when you’re with family or in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but take the time you need to rest and recharge. Prioritize sleep, moving your body, nourishing yourself, and setting boundaries.
Ask for Help
Reach out to people you trust if you need support navigating the holiday season. Look to friends, family members, or mental health professionals for help navigating challenges such as religious bullying, loneliness, and depression.
To learn more about how you can invest in your emotional well-being, visit JED’s Mental Health Resource Center and resource hub for taking care of yourself, lowering stress, and finding joy during the holidays.
For more information on The Jed Foundation or its Mental Health Resource Center, please visit jedfoundation.org.
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