Cre­ate mean­ing this hol­i­day sea­son

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Swift Current - COUR­TESY ALTA. HEALTH SER­VICES

Hol­i­days are a joy­ful time, of­fer­ing a chance to re­con­nect with friends and fam­ily. But for many it can also cause stress and lone­li­ness. You may worry about fam­ily mat­ters, or it may be a painful re­minder of past times.

Dur­ing the hol­i­days try fo­cus­ing on some sim­ple steps that can help re­duce stress, low mood and grief that are com­monly felt dur­ing this time of year.

Here are some ideas that may help you: Grat­i­tude: Be­ing thank­ful mag­ni­fies pos­i­tive emo­tions and helps us ap­pre­ci­ate the value in some­thing or some­one. Send a note of thanks to some­one spe­cial or cre­ate a jour­nal filled with things you are thank­ful for.

Do some­thing for your­self. Of­ten times we are so busy tak­ing care of oth­ers we for­get to fo­cus on our­selves. Take time for your­self this sea­son by do­ing some­thing you en­joy, go for a walk, or try a new hobby such as yoga or med­i­ta­tion.

Con­nect: Join a com­mu­nity group, re­con­nect with friends, or vol­un­teer.

Keep a reg­u­lar sleep, meal, and ex­er­cise sched­ule and limit al­co­hol. Tak­ing care of your­self will help you deal with stress­ful sit­u­a­tions dur­ing the hol­i­days. Re­mem­ber the 80/20 rule, and eat 80 per cent healthy foods.

Get or­ga­nized. Make lists or use an ap­point­ment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to at­tend.

Learn to say no. It's okay to say "no" to events that aren't im­por­tant to you. This will give you more time to say "yes" to events that you do want to at­tend.

Know your spend­ing limit. Lack of money is one of the big­gest causes of stress dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. This

year, set a bud­get and don't spend more than you've planned.

Give some­thing per­sonal. You can show love and car­ing with any gift that is mean­ing­ful and per­sonal. Make a phone call or write a note and share your feel­ings. Re­mem­ber, get help if you need.

Hol­i­days can be es­pe­cially hard if you are al­ready deal­ing with the death of a loved one or the breakup of a re­la­tion­ship. Talk with health care pro­fes­sional in your area or call Health Link at 811 or the Mental Health Helpline 1-877-303-2642.

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