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Surviving the holidays starts with self-care, says Mental Health Advocates of WNY

Buffalo News - 12/8/2022

Dec. 8—Ahh, the holidays!

More shopping. More gatherings. More family.

More stress.

It may be the season for giving, but surviving the holiday in healthy ways starts with self-care, said Carol Doggett, senior director of marketing, communications and outreach with Mental Health Advocates of WNY.

"Self-care is something we should prioritize year-round, but it is especially important during the holiday season when things become more hectic and stressful," Doggett said.

She recommended a quick checklist of self-care "do's" for this time of year that will boost your resilience and enjoyment.

1. Get quality sleep.

2. Eat healthy foods, in addition to a moderate amount of holiday treats.

3. Move your body.

4. Use mindfulness and meditation.

5. Do things you love.

6. Don't worry about how things "should" be.

7. Be realistic; set limits and boundaries.

8. Don't try to be a superhero.

9. Ask for help as needed.

10. Believe in yourself.

Doggett recommends the following books, podcasts and apps for improving self-care year-round.


"Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience," by Brené Brown.

"Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle," by Emily Nagoski.

"10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works," by Dan Harris.

"How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self," by Dr. Nicole LePera.


"Happier" with Gretchen Rubin.

"Being Well" with Dr. Rick Hanson.

"Mental Illness Happy Hour" with Paul Gilmartin.

"Mental — The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health."

"We Can Do Hard Things" with Glennon Doyle.

Meditation apps

Insight Timer: Free app for sleep, anxiety and stress.

10 Percent Happier: For a happier, healthier you.

Calm: Also designed to improve focus and for businesses.

Headspace: Learn to manage feelings and thoughts with the lifelong skill of everyday mindfulness. Experts share tips on mindfulness, happiness and self-compassion.

Smiling Mind: Australian nonprofit offers free, evidence-based programs for adults and children.

"Know your triggers," Doggett said, "and plan your coping strategies ahead of the rush."

For related resources, call 211 or visit Those is crisis or their loved ones are encouraged to call 988.


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