We’ve identified about the oft-overlooked portion of the population that deals with increased stress and depression during the holiday season. This does not factor in those who end up suffering from short-term mental health disorders activated by holiday anxiety. Finally, let’s add a world-altering pandemic to the fun menu of “things to deal with” in 2020 and it’s no surprise that this year’s holiday season may induce a variety of mental health responses.
With this in mind we would like to provide some very simple things to keep in mind if you are suffering from increased anxiousness during the holiday season as well as some tips for those who may have loved ones who struggle during the holiday season…
Don’t like the holidays? That’s okay! Here are 3 simple things to keep in mind for the holiday season. As always, do not hesitate to seek out professional help if you feel like you cannot manage on your own – there is nothing to be ashamed of.
1 – Acknowledge what you’re feeling. It’s okay to be sad. If you’ve lost someone, don’t hesitate to break out old pictures and think of the good times. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings with those who care about you.
2 – Don’t feel pressure to spend beyond your budget. Given the precarious status of the economy during the pandemic, this is not the year to stretch yourself thin when it comes to giving gifts. Your loved ones will understand.
3 – It’s okay to say “no.” If you are feeling overwhelmed by virtual activities, messages from friends and family, or even the occasional in-person gathering always remember that you can say “no.” Prioritize your personal wellness and trust that those around you will understand. On the flip side, if you’re tired of alone time, don’t hesitate to reach out for connections!
For those of you concerned that a loved one is suffering from the “holiday blues,” look for the following signs:
Do they seem more withdrawn?
Is their behavior more erratic?
Are they more irritable?
Has their responsiveness changed?
If you do notice these signs or have a friend you know that is suffering from anxiety or depression during the holidays, remind them how much you appreciate having them in your life and reinforce the fact that there are people who care about them.