The holiday season can be the best of times and the worst of times. We form memories and we’re jolted by memories. It’s extra important to be generous with our mental health during this season.
Just yesterday I was telling my partner stories about my childhood holidays, playing two-hand touch football in my cousin’s backyard, soaking in every second together, skinned knees and all! This nostalgic memory also reminded me of a holiday meal when a family member said something hurtful to me, just before dinner was served, and I left as quickly as I could saying the turkey made me tired.
We often talk about generosity during the holidays too. Generous mental health involves awareness of self, others, and the world. Mental health is defined as psychological well-being. Happiness, feeling fully alive, joy, fulfillment, and connection can be synonymous to the experience of psychological well-being.
Here’s 8 ways you can be generous with your mental health this holiday season:
1. Think about how you’re doing
One a scale of 1-10 how happy are you? If one was the worst time in your life and ten was the best time in your life, where are you today?
2. Listen to something soothing
3. Schedule a counseling session
If you live in Colorado, Khesed eliminates the three main barriers to help: we are affordable, we have affordable options even if your insurance doesn’t cover counseling, and we respond to all inquiries within two-business days. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
If you live outside Colorado, lookup affordable and accessible providers near you via psychologytoday.com.
4. Choose empathy.
The greatest way to move from a place of bitterness, resentment, and disconnection is empathy--for self and others. We are more aware than ever of disconnection in our world. Middle-aged men have the highest rates of suicide, the leading cause of death for ages 10-24 in Colorado is suicide, and post-millennials are the most connected and loneliest generation. Empathy can change that. Here’s a great video to learn more about empathy.
5. Mentor a teenager
While teens are more connected than ever through phones and social media, in-person mentoring is less and less common. What if you joined an organization supporting youth and gave your time to spread in-person mentoring and connection? Being generous with your time for others is a great way to increase your own mental health and well-being.
6. Get out of your comfort zone.
Trying something new can be a great way to enhance joy. Consider reading a book by someone different than you, write an encouraging text to that family member you haven’t spoken to in a couple months, or get dinner with someone new.
Organizations like a Khesed, homeless nonprofits, clean water organizations, and affordable housing projects are sustained by and with community, to transform communities with mental health and basic needs support. Consider giving today.
Changing your scenery, interactions, and even habits for a couple days can be immensely life-giving. Consider travelling, and if the budget is tight--consider taking a long drive and camping, it’s worth it.
About the Author:
Heather is an entrepreneur, licensed professional counselor, speaker, and writer based in Denver, CO. Starting 4 companies in 3 industries by age 29, Heather creates businesses that do justice, live kindness, and walk humbly with one another and the world. A leading voice in faith and business, Heather is currently within her ordination process. When she’s not working on a new company or canvas, you will find Heather and her partner Olja traveling through the mountains of Colorado and beyond with their mini goldendoodle Nooma.