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Tips from the GSBS on how to have a healthy 2021 holiday season

Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings

As we wrap up another historic year, we hope that you will use this holiday break as an opportunity to reflect, relax, and rejuvenate yourself for 2022. Listed below are some ideas to help you stay mentally and physically healthy this season.

Stay connected

  • Spread some holiday cheer! Safely spend time with friends and family in person or virtually!
  • Send holiday cards or hand-written notes of warm wishes to those you know or those away from family (e.g., hospital patients, senior citizen homes, military, etc.).
  • If your usual traditions are not possible this year, be inspired to create new traditions.
  • Donate or volunteer. Safely help those in need during this season and beyond. Helping others can lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.

Relax and Rejuvenate

  • Embrace the quiet time of the holiday break and use this time to de-stress and practice self-care (e.g., online yoga, guided meditation).
  • Have fun outdoors! Go for a jog, walk, picnic around Houston’s many parks and bayous.
  • Listen to some relaxing or inspirational holiday music to bring some holiday spirit into your day.
  • Gift yourself a book to read for fun, download a movie, or spend time on your favorite hobby (e.g., start that novel!).
  • Don’t overcommit yourself! It’s a short break, so focus your efforts on meaningful activities that you find rejuvenating.
  • Stick to a healthy routine as much as possible (e.g. good sleep hygiene, hydrating, eating healthy, and exercise) and be mindful of maintaining any prescribed medications during your vacation

Reflect on your goals and accomplishments

  • #sleigh! You did it! Reflect on what you accomplished this year and be proud of yourself for pushing forward and making progress during a challenging time.
  • Beware of comparing yourself to others. Everyone has had unique challenges this past year. Have confidence in your victories and plan for the rest (see next bullet).
  • Practice having a positive mindset. To reach your 2022 goals, make a plan using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound) goals to complete tasks with renewed energy and focus.

If you are sad or experiencing depression this holiday season, know that you’re not alone. Be honest with yourself about what you’re experiencing. Do not isolate yourself, and talk to others you trust. Seek out support and companionship from friends, family, or community/religious groups. If your daily life is negatively affected, seek out help and utilize counseling services available to you.

Although we have more freedom this year, it is still challenging, and the holidays are a reminder of how different this year is when compared to others. Just know that the sacrifices we continue to make can ensure happier future celebrations.

We want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season/break, and remind you that we at the GSBS are here to support you with assistance and advice during this time.

Stay safe. Stay connected. Be kind to yourself and others.

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