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Prioritize your mental health this holiday season

By IU Human Resources

December 15, 2022

What is known as the most wonderful time of the year can sometimes bring an unwelcome guest: stress. Between traveling, cooking, shopping and family gatherings, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

The good news is that there are simple things you can do to prioritize yourself and your mental health during this busy season. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Don’t abandon healthy habits. Maintaining your physical health is one of your best defenses against stress, so it’s essential to keep up your exercise, sleep and nutrition habits. Incorporating just one healthy action daily can make your holidays more enjoyable and relaxing.
  • Make a spending plan. One of the biggest holiday stressors for many is finances. Learn how to create a spending plan that works for you, and how to stick to it.
  • Practice gratitude. Research has shown that gratitude can reduce stress and improve mental and physical health. Learn why this is and how to practice gratitude from Y. Joel Wong, professor and chair of the IU School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology.
  • Prioritize self-care. Even on your busiest days, make time for activities that you find physically and mentally fulfilling. It might be reading a book, crafting, watching a movie, listening to music you love or walking your dog. Log in to SupportLinc’s website to learn more about the power of self-care.
  • Recognize when you’re getting stressed. It’s easy to get so busy that we forget to pay attention to our mind and body’s warning signs. Taking an online mental health test can help you keep tabs on your mental health and give you a sense of what’s going on.
  • Care for caregivers. Find ways to manage holiday stress as a caregiver or learn how hiring a caregiver for your senior loved one during the holiday season can be an act of self-care. Eligible employees can also sign up for a free premium membership to find care for children, adults, pets and homes.
  • Get support if and when you need it. If you need additional support, reach out to SupportLinc EAP at 888-881-LINC (5462) or log in to Licensed mental health professionals are available to provide free, confidential, in-the-moment support 24 hours a day.