• Andree DeCastro

Happy Holidays! (with self-care)

Happy holidays everyone! Here are some holiday self care tips. Enjoy ! .

1. If you notice yourself reaching for something to eat or drink in response to a difficult feeling, try to make sense of what's going on instead. Are you angry with your partner? Are you grieving a departed relative or friend? Are you sad about a recent break up? The more you try to make sense of your emotions, the less scary and dangerous they become. And the easier it gets to sit with them rather than attempt to numb them. .

2. Being present around the presents. Practice mindfulness and meditation. This can include spending a minute or two being present in your environment. Take notice of the smells, sounds, and sights of the holidays. Notice the differences between the holiday season and other times of the year. .

3. Holiday shopping can be extremely overwhelming at times. Take the time to organize and schedule your shopping and plans. Organization is key to many things in life, especially mental health. .

4. Physical activity is the number one thing I recommend to everyone I work with because it reduces stress, improves mood and concentration, and combats depression. Decades of research shows that even just ten minutes of challenging exercise daily triggers the same hormones in your brain (serotonin and dopamine) targeted by anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. When it comes to improving how you feel, getting regular exercise can be as effective as taking antidepressants. Ensure adequate sleep and a nutritious diet as well. .

5. Get in touch with gratitude. Guess what else protects your brain from stress and depression? Gratitude. Recent neuroscience research shows that simply pondering the question, "What am I grateful for?" increases dopamine and serotonin, even if you can't actually think of an answer. Just searching for things to be grateful about builds stronger positive emotional pathways in your brain.


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