Oklahoma City Indian Clinic promotes tips for maintaining mental health during the busy holiday season.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, wants to promote ways for people to manage stress and mental illness during the holidays.
The holiday season is supposed to be a time for joy, but it’s a source of stress for many. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 64% of people with mental illness said the holidays made their conditions worse. Luckily, there are methods to help cope with added stressors.
“It’s important to prioritize your mental health needs, and recognize that you may need to set aside some time for self-care during the holiday season,” said Misty Gillespie, OKCIC’s Director of Behavioral Health. “If holiday shopping is something that makes you feel mentally agitated, you can take steps to avoid or cope with this activity.”
Self-care activities can help people cope with stressors. These can include reading a book, taking a walk, meditation or any activity that refreshes you and makes you feel good. Many people like to make gratitude lists of things they’re thankful for. According to NAMI, gratitude has a positive impact on mental health.
Another way to help manage holiday stress is by managing your time and expectations of yourself. Many people become stressed and disappointed because they try to take on too many responsibilities during the holidays. Remember that it’s okay to say no to plans that won’t fit into your schedule, and that it’s okay to set boundaries.
“Maintaining physical health is important for maintaining mental health,” Gillespie said. “Remember to eat well, sleep at least eight hours every night and avoid alcohol. Daily exercise, even just a short walk, can help relieve stress.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may need support from a behavioral health professional. If you’re in crisis, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255.
The holiday season can be busy, but it’s important to be kind to yourself during this time. Remember to practice self-care and reach out for help if you need it.
About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 21,000 patients from over 220 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.