5 tips for taking care of your mental health this holiday season

  • 2 Minutes Read
Joanna Kriehn
Joanna Kriehn, MS, RDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Try gifting yourself first this year by taking care of your mental health this holiday season. We have 5 tips to help you stay sane during this busy time of year.

Taking care of mental health

1. Self-care is the first step in taking care of your mental health over the holidays

Holidays are all about giving to others, yet you’ll feel your best mentally and physically if you carve out some time for yourself.

When our mental health is out of balance, we don’t handle stress as well, may get sick more often, and may have a harder time making healthy food choices. While self-care looks different for everyone, here are a few ways that have helped others refill their reserves during this busy time of year.

2. Choose better nutrition over too many sugar-laden treats

Don't forget about your diet if you want to give yourself the best chance of maintaining positive mental health during the holidays. While it feels pleasurable at the moment, eating a lot of sugar and processed foods makes it harder for our brains to manage anxiety and depression. Need some guidance on what to eat? Look to the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in vegetables and legumes while low in sugar and red meat. In fact, research shows the Mediterranean diet has a positive impact on mental health. The AMMEND trial showed an improvement in depressive symptoms in young men who adopted this pattern of eating.

Check out some of our favorite Mediterranean-inspired snacks to keep your energy levels up this holiday season

3. Avoid going overboard on those adult beverages

The holidays can mean a busy social calendar along with stressful, end-of-the-year deadlines. Both situations present additional opportunities to drink more than usual. Imbibing more often may feel good in the short term, though it can negatively impact mental and physical health. Since alcohol is a depressant, it can disrupt the delicate balance of chemicals in your brain. After a night of drinking, you may notice you don’t sleep as well, and your digestion is off. Waking up early the next day to get to the gym will be more difficult, compromising your health goals.

Here are tips that have helped others avoid drinking too much over the holidays:/

4. Do something social that doesn’t center around eating and drinking

Maintaining a social network is important when taking care of your mental health throughout the year. More often than not, the holiday season is a more social time of year. So, find creative ways to catch up with friends and colleagues beyond eating and drinking. For example:

5. Reach out for support

The holidays can be a mentally challenging time for many of us. Online support can fill those gaps when you need additional support.

MyNetDiary offers online support for weight loss through our Community feature. Community is a safe place to share successes, offer encouragement, share before-and-after photos, or ask for advice. To access Community, tap on your dashboard's "Community" tab.

If you struggle with mental health and need additional support from a licensed therapist, these resources can help you find someone who fits your needs:



Taking time to care for your mental health during the holidays can help you experience this unique time of year in a different and hopefully more enjoyable way. You’ve got this!

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Holidays / Parties->Winter Holiday Season
Nov 27, 2023
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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