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  • Writer's pictureThe Hedonia Team

“What Are You Doing For The 4th?” How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health Over The Holiday

Updated: Jul 4


How many times have you been asked about your plans for the upcoming holiday, perhaps feeling pressured to exceed expectations and have the most amazing activities all planned out? For most Americans, when we think of the 4th of July we often think of BBQs in our yard with a cold beer in our hand, rejoicing at night under the fireworks, spending time with loved ones, and an overall day of fun looking forward to time away from work and to that well-needed break. 


However, for many, this holiday can elicit feelings of depression, anxiety, and emotional stress as a result of the overwhelming pressure to be social with the sense of obligation to have every minute perfectly planned out. There’s so much pressure to attend events and socialize on the 4th of July…and to be honest, every other weekend throughout the summer season. Naturally, this can be rough on anyone’s mental health but especially exacerbating for those struggling with mental health issues. Some people also view Independence Day as the onset of summer and for those coping with "summertime blues," clinically known aSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this can signal the beginning of a challenging few months.



It’s hard enough for someone struggling with depression or social anxiety to face social events, then add on the guilt together with the fear of missing out, and you’ve got yourself a volatile, and combustible combination.





 


We’ve compiled five tips to help you put your mental health first this 4th of July


1- Be Mindful and Set Boundaries 

If you choose to celebrate with others, prioritize the most important activities or scheduled get-togethers, and if you feel overwhelmed by social obligations and what others are asking of you, learn how to be comfortable saying “no”. If it means not going at all, or just dropping by to say hello, know that you are the most important thing and that your friends and family will still enjoy their night!


2- Do What Feels Right For You

If large gatherings are too stressful, consider hosting a small get-together at your place with a few close friends or family members. This way, you can control the environment and ensure it feels safe and comfortable for you. Set boundaries and let your guests know what to expect.


3- Take Time For Yourself

Dedicate time to activities that relax and charge your social battery. Whether it’s a morning yoga session, a walk in the park, spending some quality time with your pet, or reading a favorite book, make sure to carve out some “me time” before joining any celebrations. Self-care helps to recharge and prepare you mentally for social interactions.


4- Communicate Your Feelings


Don’t hesitate to talk to someone you trust about how you feel. Sharing your thoughts can help alleviate some of the emotional burdens. Letting your friends or family know how you feel might also lead to more understanding and support during social gatherings. If you feel that you might not have someone you feel comfortable talking to, you can engage discreetly with other members of our hedonia community.


5- Let Go Of The Fantasy


Trying to keep up with the picture-perfect BBQ festive and lake party Instagram posts we see online can be exhausting and can amplify feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. Consider taking a break from social media during the holiday to avoid comparing yourself to others and reduce anxiety.


 

You’re Not Alone


If you find yourself feeling down or pressured as the holiday approaches, know that you are not alone. It’s easy to feel isolated when it seems like everyone else is celebrating, give yourself some slack and embrace that it’s completely normal to feel uneasy during this time!


Remember, It doesn’t matter if you're a voracious partier looking to stay up all night or a homebody who prefers to enjoy a quiet night watching the fireworks from the comfort of your own home, what’s important is that you stay true to yourself and enjoy Independence day in the way that best suits you! 



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