As the holiday season approaches and 2021 draws to a close, times can be more difficult for many. Following are ways to form healthy mental habits and support overall well-being during this busy time.
Giacomo Bono an Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills studies how qualities of social relationships contribute to mental health, the benefits of gratitude, and the development of resilience. He is the author of Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character.
We asked Dr Bono that given the stress of this past year, how can people take care of their mental health during the holiday season? He responded “Humans are wired to focus on the negative, but don’t just cherry-pick the bad stuff. Accepting a balanced view of your life will help your perspective.”
A few tips to survive these hectic times include:
- Have self-compassion and patience for yourself and others.
- Acknowledge your own improvements and focus on your sources of strength.
- Celebrate your cherished relationships, appreciate how much you’ve been through and grown, and appreciate if things could have been worse.
- You can be a blessing to others with simple gestures and phrases of kindness, and it will help you, too.
What are some tips for mental health during the holidays?
Like mindfulness, gratitude is a reliable way to support mental health and personal well-being. The trick is practicing it in a way that you enjoy and remembering to do it.
There are so many different strategies for practicing gratitude. There’s journaling, thank-you texts, or taking a moment to call someone you’ve been meaning to appreciate. High-five or hug them and tell them why they matter to you. Remember, it’s in practicing that gratitude benefits your well-being.
Not only does the purposeful practice of gratitude increase your happiness, but the research indicates that grateful people also report more self-discipline, fulfilling relationships, and engagement with their schools and communities when compared to their less grateful counterparts. Try to include gratitude in your life and you will be amazed in the results.