For many, the holidays are the happiest time of the year as friends and family gather to celebrate. For others, it can be the most difficult season for their mental health. The holiday season can be the hardest time of the year due to many factors, like past trauma during this time, losing a loved one that you used to enjoy this season with, seasonal depression, or negative memories that are associated with this time of year. If mental health and the holidays do not mix for you or a loved one, then seeking out professional mental health services, like those available at Connections Wellness Group, can make the holidays less stressful and more enjoyable. Call 940.360.4245 today to learn more.
Mental Health and the Holidays
64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse1. With all the social gatherings, gift-giving, and lack of sunlight, it can be a stressful time. The holiday blues are different from mental illness, and for many suffering from a mental health disorder, the holidays can lead to worsening symptoms. This can be heightened anxiety, depression, or stress that is experienced during the holidays.
You might catch yourself comparing yourself to others and thinking, “what is wrong with me…everyone else seems so happy?” This can be exacerbated when people react negatively to how you are feeling. When others respond with things like “how can you be sad during the best time of the year?” it can make you feel even more isolated. Seeing happy families or couples may remind you of how different your situation is. Or if you don’t celebrate traditional holidays and your cultural celebrations are ignored, it can be alienating.
Ideas for Improving the Holidays and Mental Health
Create Your Own Traditions
If spending time with your family or taking part in classic traditions will lead to a negative mental health state, try to find your own ways to celebrate, even if it is by yourself! Some ideas include a self-care day scheduled at your local spa, volunteering at a local food shelter, or just making sure you do an activity you enjoy during the busy season.
Celebrate in a Way that Makes You Happy
You do not have to go to events or do things that genuinely make you uncomfortable. Consider your options if you know you will pay a mental price for it later.
Confide in Someone Who Will Support You
The societal pressure to be happy at holiday events can be a heavy weight to carry. Whether it is your best friend or your dog, it can feel good just to let it out. If you want to talk to a licensed professional, you have options. It is vital that you feel heard and can share your frustrations.
Know That Your Feelings Are Valid
Even if most people (or no one you know) can relate to your feelings, rest assured that they are valid, whatever the reason. This can be a complex topic to discuss; others may feel the same but are scared to share their feelings. There are many explanations for why this may be a difficult time, and there are professionals who care. Connections Wellness Group has therapy, psychiatry, and even telehealth services available.
Contact Connections Wellness Group for a Better Mental Health and the Holidays
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Even if you may not feel this way be sure to check in with your loved ones during this time. Like many issues, we find out we are not the only ones when we are brave and raise our voices.
Connections Wellness Group is ready to help you or a loved one have a memorable and enjoyable holiday season. Contact us online, or call 940.360.4245 to learn more about how we can make this holiday season one of the best.
1National Alliance on Mental Illness – “Mental Health and the Holiday Blues”