Emotional Wellness During the Holidays

Senior man with his dog sitting in chair beside window and sharing loveWith the holiday season upon us, it’s important to look after one’s mental health and emotional well-being. While the season typically includes family and social gatherings, holidays can also be stressful, and trigger feelings of grief, loneliness and depression. Consider some of these steps to help support  your emotional health and find joy during the holidays and beyond.

✦ Breath & Health: The way you breathe can affect your mind and body. Full, deep breathing is a good way to reduce tension. In the Hawaiian culture, the breath is an important part of physical and spiritual health. Be aware of your breathing. Practice daily deep breathing exercises.

✦ Nutrition & Exercise: Key to your overall wellness and coping with stress is a well-balanced diet, plenty of water and regular exercise. Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Steer clear of heavily processed foods that are high in sugar or saturated fat. Check with your doctor and keep him or her informed about any changes to your diet and movement routines, or if you’re thinking about starting a new exercise program.

✦ Alcohol Intake: Even small amounts of alcohol, such as one drink, can make depression worse and disrupt your sleep and mood.

✦ Depression: Grief, stress, physical challenges and changing life circumstances can trigger depressive symptoms, and other emotional health problems. Know when to get help. If you’re concerned about your mind and mood, talk to a personal physician or behavioral health expert.

✦ Self-Care Apps: Digital apps can help your emotional well-being and resilience. The myStrength app offers a personalized program that teaches mindfulness and other helpful behaviors. Calm is an app designed to help lower stress, reduce anxiety and improve sleep by using guided meditation. Learn more at kp.org/selfcare.

✦ Getting Help: Mental healthcare is not one-size-fits-all. Treatment differs for everyone — from the type of provider you see and how often you see them to the length of time it takes for treatments to be most effective. If you don’t know where to start, discuss options and next steps with your doctor. If you believe you’re having a mental health or medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.

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More resources & tools:
kp.org/seniorhealth This article contains health and wellness or prevention information.


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