Cannabis and The Holidays: Managing Your Mental Health
Like many things, the simple phrase “home for the holidays” can have different meanings for different people.
For some, the season is about reuniting with friends and family, sharing food, and reveling in communal connections and histories. But for others, the end of the calendar year can feel challenging, dark, and lonely.
And for many—perhaps even most of us— this time of year combines elements of both, making the holiday season especially hard to navigate.
Because of the mental health challenges the holiday season can pose, we wanted to talk about using cannabis to manage your mental health through the holiday season in hopes of more merry and bright days.
Cannabis and Mental Health: Managing Holiday Anxiety
One common complaint about the holiday season is that it triggers anxiety for any number of reasons. Whether its social anxiety, general anxiety, or anxiety bound up in a particular issue (like seeing family, money concerns, or travel fears), cannabis may aid in managing anxiety to help ease stress and allow us to enjoy the season more fully.
Cannabis is often used as an anxiolytic, or anxiety-reducing medicine. High CBD strains like Vireo’s green line of cannabis products may aid in finding balancing and minimizing feelings of anxiousness. Whether it’s the stress of finding the right gift, the fear of making a social gaffe, or just an exacerbation of everyday anxiety, cannabis can help with the management of these emotions.
Keeping a cannabis journal consistently can help show when we rely more heavily on cannabis to help ease various mental states and help us find effective doses for particular conditions. If you have ongoing anxiety, pairing your cannabis use with a visit to a mental health professional is a good idea.
Cannabis and Mental Health: Fighting Off SAD
With the sun in hiding more often during these colder months, Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) can rear its ugly head.
Symptoms of SAD vary, but they may include:
- Consistent, daily depression
- A loss of interest in beloved activities
- Low energy levels
- Sleeping difficulties (including oversleeping)
- Changes in weight or appetite (during the winter months, this may include cravings for carbs and weight gain)
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt
Those suffering from severe SAD may also have suicidal thoughts. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to someone. Your life matters.
If your symptoms are interfering with your ability to live your life, consider seeking assistance from a mental health professional in addition to any cannabis use.
Self-care activities like exercise may help you manage your SAD symptoms if they are less severe. When looking for cannabis products to aid in your quest, seek out uplifting, stress-relieving products like Vireo Red, available in a variety of consumption formats.
Cannabis and Mental Health: Take Note
In addition to keeping track of the effects of your cannabis use on your symptoms, journaling can help you sort through what’s causing you additional stress during the holidays and to build a gratitude practice. Taking time to focus on the little things that bring us joy, from a beautiful sunset to a lovely breeze, can help us become more aware of those small moments. In fact, a recent study by research Glenn Fox found that gratitude can help us form better bonds and relieve stress.
Don’t let the holiday season get the better of you. Focus on your self-care and ensure your cannabis dose is correct to help you manage the varying emotions the season brings.