Writing or speaking about topics such as holiday stress and new year’s resolutions, is a great way to get your name out there as a mental health expert. These are timely issues that much of the public can relate to, and will pay attention to.
News media and professional associations and institutions such as APA and the Mayo Clinic publish tips for coping with holiday stress and keeping new years resolutions. But they tend to be very general, so as to appeal to mass audiences.
There’s no shortage of lists of general tips online. A Google search for “holiday stress” yielded over a million hits at the time of this writing. And they’re all pretty similar, offering advice such as: Have realistic expectations; Take time for yourself; Stick to a budget; Don't go overboard on rich food and alcohol...etc.
You can do better than that. Instead of trying to cover all the bases to appeal to everyone, focus on one topic or on one demographic group. Your advice will be relevant to fewer people, but very useful to those for whom it applies, because you can go into more depth.For example:
Cover a specific topic, such as….
- Why taking time for yourself during the holidays is good for your family
- 3 reasons why kids should not get everything they want for Christmas
- How to develop a mindset that will help keep you from overeating
Address problems faced by specific demographics….
- For families with an autistic child: Tips to help calm your child in traffic jams, crowded stores, around noise and flashing lights, etc.
- For those who are depressed: 5 simple ways to keep from feeling worse during the holidays
- For the recently widowed: How to get through your first Christmas alone
These are just a few examples. Note that they all address a single problem or issue. Most people don’t face all the holiday stressors at once. And even if they do, they are probably mainly concerned with one or two of them.
Here's something I wrote for APA Help Center's blog, on how stores get you to buy more than you bargained for. Notice how it addresses just one aspect of holiday shopping.
By providing focused advice, you can give very specific insights and tips for specific situations. That's helpful for people who feel stressed.
Your written piece or community presentation on a seasonal topic can be used over and over again. Each year it will appeal to a slightly different mix of people. If you post it online it will continue to help others while keeping your name out there for years to come!