Mental Growth Matters
Navigating Holiday Gatherings with Mental Health in Mind

With the holiday season come gatherings of families, friends, colleagues and neighbors. In the midst of a festive whirlwind, remember the season’s joy shouldn’t come at the expense of anyone’s emotional well-being. Here are tips to prioritize mental health during holiday gatherings. 

For hosts

  • Plan wisely. Plan an event that reflects your energy levels. Don’t overextend yourself or your guests. Balance festive games and traditions with unstructured moments where guests can relax and enjoy each other. Embrace imperfections and focus on the joy of being with loved ones.
  • Set boundaries and practice self-care.  Communicate limits and boundaries. Let guests know if there are quiet areas. Carve out time before and after hosting for activities that rejuvenate you.
  • Keep it simple. Aim for simplicity in decor, menu and logistics. Less can be easier and is often more enjoyable.
  • Offer dietary options. Ensure your menu includes options for various dietary restrictions and preferences to ensure physical well-being and promote a sense of inclusivity and belonging.
  • Create calm. Set aside moments for relaxation. Consider a quiet activity, soothing music or a mindfulness activity for guests.

For guests

  • RSVP mindfully. When invitations arrive, consider your mental well-being and capacity. Decline if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
  • Socialize actively and offer support. Engage in deeper conversations which can be more satisfying, help to strengthen relationships and provide an opportunity for emotional connection. Be attentive to others. If someone seems overwhelmed or anxious, offer a supportive chat.
  • Express your needs. Communicate any needed accommodations or dietary restrictions in advance.
  • Practice gratitude. Recognize no event will be perfect. Reflect on positive aspects like delicious food, laughter or quality time spent with loved ones. 

Gathering with mental wellness in mind fosters a nurturing environment where individuals can genuinely enjoy the festivities. Prioritizing mental well-being can create lasting memories that leave everyone feeling cherished and valued. ::

About Author

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Erin is a freelance writer living in Rochester. She encourages everyone to celebrate the positive and share the good.

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