Monday, December 18 | Cause Connected, Human Services

12 Ways to Keep Your Spirit Merry and Bright This Holiday Season

By Tricia Zerger, Senior Director, Human Services

Sometimes, it’s not the most wonderful time of the year. Hear from Tricia Zerger, senior director of human services strategy at Netsmart, on ways we can keep mental health at the forefront, especially as the holiday season is upon us.
 
For many people, the holiday season is a time of joy, laughter and cheer. However, for a lot of individuals, the holidays aren’t always so merry and bright. This time of the year can bring a lot of unwelcome anxiety, stress and heightened depression. Although a spark in negative emotions is not limited to a certain time of the year, the holiday season can have a way of making things seem more difficult. 
 
I challenge everyone, including myself, to be brave enough to express how we’re really feeling this season. Let’s unwrap authentic connections and light up mental health awareness. Check out these 12 tips to help keep your mind, body and spirit bright throughout the holiday season. 
 
  1. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Practice self-care techniques that have worked for you in the past 
  2. Get by with a little help from your friends. Even if you rarely see the person, make plans to see them once this season 
  3. Download the Virtual Hope Box app which can help remind you of the positive things in your life by uploading photos, quotes and music that “spark joy”
  4. Practice mindfulness, which has been shown to improve relationship satisfaction, reduce stress and increase empathy
  5. Gift giving comes in many forms; volunteer to help others in need 
  6. Keeping a journal, meditation, sun exposure or exercise can all help to fight depression and anxiety
  7. ZZZs! Don’t forget the importance of sleep. Check out the Modern Health app to help get your sleep on track 
  8. Start a new tradition – If you’re worried that repeating an old tradition will make you sad, create new ones
  9. Grant yourself permission to feel what you are feeling; it’s better for you 
  10. It’s okay to spend time alone, as it can cultivate confidence 
  11. Set limits on social media 
  12. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Make it your mantra. Grab a dry erase marker and write it on your mirrors or make it a reminder in your phone
 
Managing mental health is not easy and your peers’ jolly good spirits may not be helping. While these feelings can be isolating and often unexplainable, know that you are never alone. Continue to prioritize yourself, try to focus on the good and lean on others for support when you need it. 
 
It’s important to note the difference between seasonal blues, which typically go away in a brief period of time and a more serious mental health issue. Both are real and should be taken seriously, however the latter may require more support strategies. If heightened anxiety and depression continue for an extended period of time and impact your daily activities, consider seeking professional guidance.
 
If you or a loved one are in need of immediate mental health assistance, contact the following: 
  • SAMHSA National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 
  • National Suicide & Crisis Hotline: call or text 988
 
Tricia Zerger is the senior director of human services strategy for Netsmart. She has a master’s degree in Professional Counseling and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas. Tricia serves as one of several Netsmart Certified Mental Health First Aid Trainers, a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues, as well as a Certified QPR Trainer to equip individuals to spot warning signs that someone may be thinking about suicide and how to leverage resources to get them help.
 

Meet the Author

Tricia Zerger Blog Photo
Tricia Zerger · Senior Director, Human Services

Communities

From the CareThreads Blog

Innovation in Behavioral Health (IBH) Model: What You Need to Know

Friday, January 26 | Human Services,EHR Solutions and Operations,Care Coordination,Legislative/Policy,Interoperability,Value-based Care

Watch the video below to learn how the IBH Model will positively impact the outcomes of individuals receiving behavioral health and/or addiction treatment services.

More
RCM Insights

Denials Prevention and Stable Staffing Strategies for RCM Leaders

Wednesday, January 24 | Thought Leadership,Human Services,Partnerships and Collaboration

Revenue Cycle Management has changed rapidly in the last 10 years. But the major challenges facing RCM leaders are still the same: denials and staffing. In this piece, two RCM experts from Netsmart weigh in on effective strategies for success, using a combination of process and technology for sustainability and growth.

More

12 Ways to Keep Your Spirit Merry and Bright This Holiday Season

Monday, December 18 | Cause Connected,Human Services

This most wonderful time can trigger unwelcome anxiety, stress and heightened depression for some individuals. Find out how you can keep your mind, body and spirit bright throughout the holiday season.

More