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During this pandemic the holidays will be very different this year.  Nothing will replace being with friends and family during the holidays.  Maybe these tips can help you keep your mental health as healthy as possible during the holiday season.

1. Sleep

Get your ZZZZZZZ’s!  Losing sleep interferes with our mood. Sleep loss amplifies the negative emotions of disruptive events and reduces any positive effects from a mood enhancing event.

If you do not sleep enough, you are more likely to feel negative when things go wrong, and you are less likely to feel good when they go well.

2. Keep active

Science has shown that physical activity can boost mood both in the short and long term.

A study done in 2000 found that short, 10–15-minute walks boosted mood and increased calmness.

So even if it is something simple, such as dancing in your kitchen or walking your dog for a little bit longer, it all counts.

3. Addressing loneliness

For many, loneliness has been a significant issue this year. It could get worse during the holidays.

Make an effort to make contact, a phone call or a video chat.  You are not the only one feeling lonely.

Empty time can move slowly. Do something to occupy your time like read a new book, listen to some music, learn a new skill/craft, or something else. A recent study found that people who get involved in an enjoyable task and fare better during lockdowns and quarantines.

4. Eat and drink well

The holidays are a time to eat and drink and can lead with overindulgence.  Some science suggest that what we eat impacts our mood.

“Healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, are associated with better mental health than ‘unhealthy’ eating patterns, such as the Western diet.”

5. What are your expectations

Not everyone is on the same page when it comes to the pandemic. Some family members might be pushing for a family meal, a get-together while others are not. Others may want a virtual Zoom holiday.

Don’t set your expectation to high, they may cause disappointment and stress. Talk it over. If you are not comfortable with someone’s proposed plan, say “no.” And stick to your guns.

The safest way to enjoy Christmas this year, unfortunately, is to do it virtually.

So . . .

Epilepsy and depression can go hand in hand.  Be aware of it and symptoms.  Make more of an effort to eat right, sleep right, move around, and find something new you enjoy to keep your mind and body busy.

This year may be a struggle during this time.  Keep your eyes on a better day. If you are contemplating self-harm or if you know someone who is, seek help don’t be ashamed. We are in this together!

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. 

Source: Inspired from an article in Medical News Today

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