Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Mental Health Afloat During the Holidays

Sarah Al-Refae

Saturday, December 9, 2023

It's the most beautiful time of the year with Christmas just around the corner, and the New Year coming soon. Students are officially on Winter break, and can finally relax at home with their families and go out with their friends.

But with all the stress of parents Christmas shopping, and students just fresh out of their midterm exams, what are ways to decompress?

Listen to Holiday Music

Everybody knows that there is nothing better than getting into the groove of holidays by listening to Christmas music. Music does not only help relax the mind, but it can also be used as a mindfulness meditation technique to help soothe individuals during stressful times. With that being said, here is our very own recommended Top 10 Christmas tracks for the 2023 holidays full of some classics and modern music:

TOP Recommendation: Mariah Carey's very own Christmas special, 'All I want for Christmas is You'

  1. 'All I want for Christmas is You' by Mariah Carey

  2. 'Last Christmas' by Wham!

  3. 'Christmas Tree Farm' by Taylor Swift

  4. 'Mistletoe' by Justin Bieber

  5. 'Underneath the Tree' by Kelly Clarkson

  6. 'Santa Tell Me' by Ariana Grande

  7. 'It's Giving Christmas' by Chris Brown

  8. 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' by Michael Bublé

  9. 'Make You Mine This Season' by Tegan and Sara

  10. 'I Need You Christmas' by the Jonas Brothers

Watch Christmas Movies

There is no better feeling than kicking back and winding with a good Christmas movie in some Christmas themed PJs, popcorn, hot chocolate, and some snacks. Research states that distractions that keep you busy in a much rather positive sense, unlike an avoidable one can actually improve your mental health in an overwhelmingly way. Here at Cara, we recommend these Christmas movie classics: Home Alone (Series), The Polar Express (2004), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000), and It's a Wonderful Life (1946).

Ice Skating

Whether it is at your local outdoor ice rink or at an indoor skating arena, ice skating is a great way to stay active and keep warm during the Winter. Exercising is considered as one of the most impactful ways to release tension. It not only releases endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters) from your body, but it also improves your overall well-being in the long run while staying in optimal shape.

And if you don't know how to skate, it's always more fun having your family or friends tag along to teach you.

Host a Christmas Party

It's always important to surround yourself with loved ones, and the holidays are the best time to do so. Since students are fresh out of school on Winter break, and parents can take time off work to celebrate with their loved ones, there is no better timing than hosting a party or a gathering together. You can catch up with relatives or friends you haven't seen in a long time, dance, sing, take photos, and watch movies altogether.

Being around loved ones can increase both your happiness and remind you of your support circle. Having a support circle is important for an individual's mental health especially during these times.

Decorating and Baking

Last but not least, this is our favourite part about Christmas: the endless decorations and baking.

Take the time to decorate your house both indoors and outdoors with fancy Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, stockings, and a mistletoe.

As for baking, bake your favourite cookies (i.e., gingerbread, chocolate-chip, oatmeal-raisin, etc.) and decorate it in the theme of a snowman, or build and decorate your very own gingerbread house and create a contest of who did best alongside your own family or friends.


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