The Holiday season is the best time to spend time with friends and family. But for many people, this time can bring or worsen anxiety, depression, and stress. This can be caused by many factors which may include increased financial burden as a result of travel, gifts and hotel charges. You may also be overwhelmed since the holiday season includes lots of parties, traveling, and performances which are difficult to balance with everyday self-care and responsibilities. Pathways Real Life Recovery offers mental health counseling services in Sandy, Utah. If you experience one of the above challenges, the following are tips that you can use to manage your increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression during your holiday.

1. Improve Your Physical Health

You can introduce some form of regular exercise during the holiday. Exercise strengthens the lungs and heart and also releases dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and endorphins that have an energizing effect and lift our mood. The effects of exercise are felt instantly, unlike medication which can take several weeks to kick in. Exercise also contributes to a more positive body image, which can be helpful for those wishing to increase their self-esteem and self-confidence.

2. Build Your Resilience

You should build your emotional resilience to cope with ups and downs during a holiday. Resilience is our ability to maintain or recover good feeling about ourselves, independent of the environment we may find ourselves in. Emotional resilience can be achieved in many ways, but the most crucial is by:
  • Talking to someone, e.g., to a friend, family member or a counselor, because communication releases tension that may build up inside.
  • Improving your self-esteem - this is particularly important since many situations in our lives, such as relationship break-ups, not getting the job we want, can dramatically lower our self-esteem. People wishing to improve their self-esteem must treat themselves in a positive but honest way.
  • Managing your stress levels - reduce your working hours, ask for help, get some regular 'me-time' when you can completely relax and unwind by developing good relationships with your friends, family or your partner.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Paying attention to your own feeling and needs is essential. You must try to achieve a balance between what you enjoy and your daily responsibilities, in order to prevent a build-up of stress and negative emotions. Consider learning and discovering new things. Research has proved that by simply walking a small distance when on holiday can reduce stress and blood pressure naturally. Finally, avoid drugs and alcohol to cope. Even though escaping may sound appealing, drugs and alcohol actually worsen symptoms. Choosing a well-balanced diet and drinking water over alcohol is guaranteed that you will feel much better, both physically and emotionally.

Pathways Real Life Recovery Center is Here to Help

If stress becomes too much to handle, people can develop anxiety and/or depression and even turn to drugs and alcohol to try and cope. Mental illness is difficult to deal with, but it can be even harder during the holidays. Just remember you are not alone! Seek the help you need from Pathways Real Life Recovery Center. We are a mental health and addiction treatment center located in Salt Lake City, Utah. We offer addiction treatment, anxiety treatment, depression treatment, teen therapy, and more. At Pathways, we help you restructure your belief system, so you don't hold yourself hostage to your past, it's about loving yourself. Our compassionate team of professionals are here to help. You can call our helpline at 801-895-3006 or email us at for any questions. Here at Pathways, we wish you peace, love, and joy this holiday season!

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Michelle Amerman