The holidays are normally a time to bring the family together, eat good food, and count your blessings. But for some, the holidays can cause anxiety, stress, and even depression. Symptoms like these can sometimes increase the risk of suicide as well.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that the holidays can increase financial burden due to gifts, travel, or hosting parties. Others may experience extreme loneliness due to the loss of loved one or being away from loved ones. On top of these scenarios, there are usually high expectations put on people to find the perfect gift and host the perfect party.
NAMI has listed some ways to cope with or manage your mental health during the holidays.
1. Stay in Therapy: Even if you are overwhelmed, continue to make time for your therapy appointments if you currently seeing a therapist.
2. Mindfulness: There is a Mindfulness toolkit that offers free mindfulness resources, such as guided meditation for beginners.
3. Don’t Rely on Drugs and Alcohol: Substance can make stress, depression, or anxiety even worse. Proceed with caution if you’re already feeling down.
4. Soak up the Sun: Even if it is cold where you are at, if the sun is out, go take a walk! “
5. Set Realist Expectations: At the end of the year, we tend to look back at our accomplishment and/or failures. This causes some, to feel like they “should be” at a different spot in their life. Try to step out of this mindset, by setting realistic expectations and focusing on what lies ahead.
We hope this helps some during their holiday stress. Please remember to keep a good self-care routine and see mental health counseling if need be.
Rebecca & Gabriel Montenegro