You might be celebrating your faith this weekend; or maybe for you it’s all about honey baked hams, Easter Egg Hunts, and Chocolate Bunnies (quite possibly it’s a combination of the two) – or for some of you it’s just a plain old weekend like any other. Regardless, holidays spiritual or commercial bring up a lot of “crap” and many challenges for those suffering from mental health concerns.
- Family & Friends
- Family and friends are great, but we all know that in excess they can cause additional stress, frustration, triggers, expectations and exhaustion. It’s important to acknowledge this because it allows us to plan accordingly. Put breaks into your day where you can separate yourself from the chaos and take 10-15 minutes at a time by yourself. Maybe you need to mentally prepare to see some people who you have had conflicts with in the past and put time limits on the time you spend with them or on the topics of conversations you engage in with them. The key here is remembering that even in and within the chaos of the day, the hour, the event – you remember that you’re worth taking care of, even if that means not pleasing everyone around you.
- Food is often another challenge around any holiday, party or event. I’ve talked with individuals who’ve agonized about what might be served or not served at a holiday party. Other people cope with the stress and anxiety of holidays by gorging themselves on holiday related food. These methods of coping are not only dangerous but they take away from the “fun” that the holiday is supposed to bring. Ideas for dealing with food during a holiday: plan your meals as much as you can based on food groups and set goals based on nutrition rather than exact items. Also, work on intuitive eating and pay attention to how your body feels with the food you are consuming. Ask yourself: Am I hungry? Am I full?
- I don’t know about anyone else but when my schedule gets thrown off so does the rest of my life. Humans in general are creatures of habit and we usually like things a certain way. Well, when traveling and going out to parties and planning and events and cleaning ect those things often change. This is often challenging for me so I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel a little “off”. I also remind myself that it’s the holiday that is causing the change and that my life will return to normal shortly. It also helps me to do little things I can control throughout the day, like clean or organize something, go for a walk, or complete a small task to give myself a sense of accomplishment in the craze.
- Memories both bad and good often surface around the holidays as we reflect with family and friends or think about something we’ve missed out on. This can definitely be distressing but it does not have to be defining. We have a lot more control over our emotions and how we react to them than we think. When old memories begin to surface that are causing distress grab a trusted friend to talk about it, write in your journal, get in an online support community, use a healthy coping skill and also allow yourself to feel; always reminding yourself that feelings are temporary.
I hope you all have a beautiful and blessed Easter Weekend! You all deserve it!
My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.