S1:E17 | Holiday Blues? Here’s How To Fix It
Studies show that the holiday season has typically a negative effect on mental health for a majority of people. Destiny Malibu and DJ Dezzee share their tips on how to beat the holiday blues.
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Holiday Blues? Here’s How To Fix It
We are so excited to be talking about something very close to our hearts that we are very passionate about, which is mental health. We talked about How to Cope with Losing a Loved One. Now, we are going to talk about how to maintain quality mental health during the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year are very intense times when people typically are seeing their family and travel. There are a lot of different things going on at this time of the year. I want to read you guys a little quote, and this is from NAMI, which is a mental health organization.
It says that a NAMI study showed that 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. That’s a very large percentage. It says that for many people, the holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year. It was said by NAMI Medical Director Ken Duckworth. For individuals and families coping with mental health challenges, the holiday season can be a lonely or stressful time filled with anxiety and/or depression.
If you are living with a mental health condition, stress can also contribute to worsening symptoms. We want to talk with you. Now that we are going into this holiday season, how can we help each other out, be there for each other, be there for ourselves, and work through our emotions during the holiday season? We have some tips for you. I know one thing I want to point out that’s going to be with Dezzee and me. We have pretty much celebrated every single Christmas with our Grandpa Doug.
I’m sure there are going to be a lot of emotions that are going to be coming up for this holiday season, and that there are a lot of you that are having different situations. Some people are far away from their families and are experiencing loneliness. You have the opposite situation where people are overwhelmed with the idea of seeing so much family. Maybe they have some complicated family dynamics, and it can create a lot of stress.
We want to talk with you about what we can do to cope with emotions and stressors during the holiday season. The first thing that we want to suggest to you is to recognize what your needs are and be gentle with yourself. Everybody has a different situation during the holiday season. It’s important to pause, check in with yourself, and ask yourself, “What are the trigger points that are causing me the most stress in my life now?”
For some people, that’s going to be the idea of being lonely in the holidays. How can we remedy that? If you are worried about being lonely during the holidays, maybe in advance, call up some friends and have a friend’s Thanksgiving or Christmas party. Those are fun. Dezzee and I have done quite a few of those, and they are a good time.
If you are someone who is overwhelmed with the idea of making a shopping list and having to get all of those shopping details done on your own, maybe delegate and ask someone else in your family or your friend group if they can help you with getting all of the things done on your checklist that you need to accomplish.
Grandma would always ask us and still asks us every year, “Can you make a list of things that you want so don’t have to think too much?”
Sometimes that is the best thing. I’m that person too. When it comes to holiday gift shopping, I like to buy people gifts that I know they want. Sometimes if I see something and I’m like, “This is so that person. I know they will love it,” I will make it a surprise. There is something about knowing in advance what someone wants. It also takes relief off of your head and like, “I want to make sure I get them something that they are going to like.” Either way can work, but it is nice to think in advance about what different things you could try to help yourself through your potential needs during the holidays and potential stressors.
Something else that is important to remember is to be thankful. I know that our family on my mom’s side, every year we all stand in a circle. We hold hands and tell each other what we are thankful for. Some of us have a short like, “I’m thankful for my family.” Some of us have a lot to be thankful for. It’s always nice to hear everyone’s thoughts on how they are thankful and what experiences they had that year that they are thankful for.
One of my favorite traditions of our family is we all stand in a circle and share something that we are thankful for. It’s such a beautiful experience to connect with everybody. That’s something that maybe if you haven’t done that, try it at your family get-together. Maybe there’s some tension in the room or some issues there. Maybe you haven’t seen each other in a while, and you want to feel connected. When you all go in around the room and say something that you are thankful for, by the end of it, when you finish that circle, you feel that your heart feels so warm.
You feel closer to everyone. You want to give a big group hug.
It’s a very bonding experience, and it’s one of my favorite traditions that we have as a family. I highly suggest that. At any time of our life, when we are struggling with mental health, especially during the holiday season, gratitude is genuinely a lifesaver. When you are feeling down and struggling with something, sometimes reframing your thoughts and focusing on something, even if it’s small that you are grateful for can kickstart your mind to help you move away from a direction that might not be so beneficial.In any time of our lives when we're struggling with mental health, especially during the holiday season, gratitude is genuinely a lifesaver. Click To Tweet
We say this all the time. If you are having a bad day, let yourself feel that. Let yourself cry. Let yourself feel what you need to feel, but remember after you have had that moment of expressing that part of your emotions to then move over into gratitude to the best of your ability. Even if you are not feeling it, you are feeling down, or you are not feeling grateful for anything, do me a favor and still make a list.
Set a boundary for yourself and give yourself a certain amount of time to be okay, but focus on something positive, whether it’s having water to drink and food to eat, a roof over your head, or a hand to hold.
Speaking of boundaries, that’s a good way to bring up another tip that we have for you. For a lot of people, sometimes the holiday season can be stressful because family dynamics can be complicated. Maybe you are going to see a relative or someone that you know bring up a little bit of stress in your soul. Something I want to remind you that you can do is you can set boundaries.
Even during the holiday season, boundaries are such a beautiful way to exercise self-love and compassion and be aware within yourself of what you can handle and cannot handle. Sometimes when you are already stressed and overwhelmed, the last thing you need is to have an argument about something that happened several years ago at a family reunion. Sometimes that’s not the best way to spend the holidays, probably not ever the best way to spend the holidays.
We want to remind you that if you are in a situation where you are feeling uncomfortable when you know something is being brought up that you are not comfortable speaking about, you have the power and the ability to gently and kindly say, “I love you so much, but I’d love it if, during this holiday season, we could talk about something else because I don’t want this to cause an issue. I love you so much and I want to enjoy the evening, night, or morning, whatever it is.” It’s okay to make those little requests and say them in a kind way. Remember that how people act is a reflection of themselves and not you.
It is going to be what you expect from other people in this season.
Regardless of how somebody reacts or what somebody says, try to remind yourself that it’s not personal because whatever is coming out of someone’s mouth is a reflection of something that they probably need to work on.Whatever comes out of someone's mouth is a reflection of something that they probably need to work on. Click To Tweet
Don’t forget to set those boundaries with them in the most loving possible way possible. As I was saying, set your expectations from your family members or even maybe the party that you are planning. If you have everyone over to your house for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the holidays, sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves that it has to be perfect. You got to have all the perfect decorations and food, “I have all the perfect gifts for everybody.” It’s not about being perfect. It’s about enjoying the moment, loving each other, and being patient with each other. Remember that we all make mistakes, it’s okay, and we got to be there for each other. It’s the holiday season. It’s supposed to be a time of happiness and love.
As someone myself who struggles with perfectionism, I can tell you that is a recipe for disaster because the reality is none of us are perfect. No situation is perfect. If you are striving for perfection, you will always be let down because perfection doesn’t exist. We were all imperfectly perfect. It’s okay to have an event or a situation go a little bit differently than you expected. It’s important during this season to be able to go with the flow and be okay when something doesn’t go exactly the way you planned.
I don’t know if this has happened to us, but I feel like we have burned some food during the holidays.
You read my mind. I was going to say that, even if you burned the turkey, which I feel that’s happened to us probably. I don’t remember if it was for Thanksgiving, but I remember one time there was something going on and everything went wrong. The green beans burned. The turkey fell on the floor. Something crazy happened.
We ended up going out for a Thanksgiving dinner.
I was in Malibu. I don’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was during the holiday season. We all shed a tear because it was like, “What the heck is going on?” We laughed about it and decided to turn it into a bonding moment. We ended up going out to eat. It was a great holiday. It’s okay if everything doesn’t go exactly the way you planned.
Another thing that we want to remind you is that something that people sometimes struggle with during the holiday season is sometimes budget because there’s so much money being spent on gifts, family get-togethers, and all this stuff. Setting a budget can be something that extremely can relieve stress because you are like, “I’m spending this X amount of money on these gifts and these decorations on this.” That way, at the end of the year, you are not like, “I went way over my budget,” and get mad at yourself or however that goes. It is important to set a budget and be aware of what it is that you want to spend money on in advance because that is something that stresses out a lot of people during the holidays.
If you have a chance to set aside a little bit of money throughout the year, when you get to the end of the year, then you are like, “I have saved all this money so I have this money. I can also spend this much more.” It builds on itself. Maybe you didn’t get a chance to do that this 2022, but you can start planning for 2023.
In addition, sometimes we put an over-emphasis on spending money on expensive things for the holidays, gifts, and things like that. Sometimes the best gifts are inexpensive. It’s quality time. Some gifts that I love to give are photographs. I love to receive that gift also more than a lot of things because it’s a memory. It’s something special. It’s something handwritten.
It’s sometimes the sentimental value over the monetary value that hits home. I want to remind you that the holiday season doesn’t have to be super expensive. If you want to go and ball out, let’s go for it, but it doesn’t have to be that way either. Sometimes spending time with each other is the best gift that you could ever give. We love you so much, guys, and we hope that these tips help you through this holiday season. We are so excited to be live from the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. We hope that you come back for more episodes.
If you have any questions, you can go to AskDestinyMalibu.com. You can submit your questions for some upcoming episodes that we are going to have and we’ll go ahead and address some of those questions on those future episodes.
We have been getting a lot of questions in there, so we will be addressing those very soon. I’m excited to do that. We love you folks so much, and we will see you on the next episode. Love you. Happy holidays.
- How to Cope with Losing a Loved One – Previous Episode