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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – While the holidays can be filled with tidings of comfort and joy, for some it can be a very stressful and hectic time of year.

The B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions says with the added pressures of busy schedules, financial strain, increased expectations and sad memories, it is important to prioritize your mental health throughout the holidays.

According to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, there are a number of ways of keeping yourself in a good mental state this holiday season.

Some of those ways include:

1. Keeping up with routines. Try to maintain your healthy habits during the holidays. Eat healthy, commit to regular physical activity and get plenty of sleep.

2. Acknowledging your feelings. If you have lost someone close to you or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. If you feel overwhelmed by these feelings, reach out for support.

3. Sticking to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend, then stick to your budget.

4. Do not overextend yourself. Prioritize your time so you can relax and enjoy the season with people you care about.

5. Taking a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

Even during the “most wonderful time of the year,” the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions reminds you that it is okay to not be okay, adding that there are supports available to help you cope.

For more information and resources, you can visit

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