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Mental Health During the Holidays

Nov 28, 2023 | Mental Health

Holidays can be joyous but also challenging for people dealing with stress, family complexities, or societal pressures. Prioritizing mental health is crucial during this season. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for some people, they can also be a source of stress and sadness.

There are ways to cope with mental health and enjoy the holidays. At Casco Bay Recovery, we understand the unique struggles individuals may face. Our compassionate support and tailored programs create a safe space, helping people navigate and prioritize their mental well-being amid the festivities.

Recognizing Signs of Struggle During the Holidays

There are many possible reasons why people struggle with mental health during the holidays, such as:

  1. Isolation: People may feel disconnected, especially if living far from loved ones. Approximately 66% of those with mental illness experience loneliness during the holidays.
  2. Pressure and Expectations: Unrealistic expectations, such as extravagant gifts or perfect parties, can contribute to stress. About 63% of people with mental illness feel excessive pressure during this season.
  3. Nostalgia and Depression: Memories of past trauma or loss may intensify during the holidays, affecting mental well-being. Around 55% of people with mental illness recall happier times during this period.
  4. Social Anxiety: Meeting new people or dealing with family conflicts can trigger anxiety. Research indicates that 40% of adults experience high anxiety due to social demands during the holiday season.
  5. Overwhelmed by Routine Changes: Disruptions to routines, like travel or altered sleep patterns, can impact mood and overall well-being.
  6. Coping with Changes: People may struggle with changes in routine, diet, and weather. These alterations can affect sleep, mood, and energy levels during the holiday season.

These are some of the common challenges that people face during the holidays, but they are not insurmountable. If you or a loved one experience any of the symptoms above, contact your doctor for help, or reach out to us at Casco Bay Recovery for support.

Holiday Mental Health Tips

  1. Connect with Loved Ones: Reach out to people, even virtually, to alleviate loneliness; 66% of people with mental illness have reported experiencing loneliness during the holidays.
  2. Set Realistic Expectations: Avoid overwhelming pressures by setting achievable goals; 63% of people with mental illness feel excessive pressure during this season.
  3. Embrace Support Systems: Seek comfort from friends, family, or support groups to navigate nostalgic or depressive feelings; 55% of people with mental illness remember happier times during the holidays.
  4. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize personal well-being by managing anxiety-inducing social situations; 40% of adults experience high anxiety due to social demands during the holiday season.
  5. Maintain Routine Changes Mindfully: Embrace changes in routine, but do so mindfully to avoid overwhelming adjustments to sleep, mood, and energy levels.
  6. Prioritize Physical Health: Exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep contribute to overall well-being; these habits can positively impact mental health during the holiday season.

Things to Avoid for a Healthier Holiday

People who have mental health struggles may find the holidays more challenging than other times of the year. There are some things that they should avoid doing to protect their mental health and well-being. Here are some examples:

  1. Avoid alcohol and drugs. They may seem like a way to cope with stress, sadness, or loneliness, but they can make things worse. They can affect your mood, judgment, and behavior, and interfere with your treatment. According to a survey by NAMI, 29% of people with mental illness reported using alcohol or drugs to cope during the holidays.
  2. Avoid unrealistic expectations. You don’t have to do everything perfectly, buy expensive gifts, or pretend to be happy all the time. These expectations can put a lot of pressure on you and make you feel disappointed or guilty. A NAMI survey found that 63% of people with mental illness felt too much pressure during the holidays.
  3. Avoid social media overload. While social media can help you stay connected with others, it can also trigger negative emotions, such as envy, shame, or comparison. Seeing posts of other people’s holiday celebrations can make you feel like you are missing out or not good enough. According to research, 40% of adults have high anxiety due to the many social demands of the holiday season.
  4. Avoid isolation. While you may not feel like socializing, it is important to stay in touch with supportive people who care about you. You can reach out to friends, family, or community members who can offer you emotional, practical, or financial help. You can also join a support group, call a helpline, or talk to a therapist. According to a survey by NAMI, 66% of people with mental illness have experienced loneliness during the holidays.

When to Seek Help for Mental Health During the Holidays

seek help for mental health during the holidays

Mental health is an important aspect of your well-being, and it can affect your mood, thoughts, and behavior. Sometimes, you may experience signs or symptoms of mental health problems, such as feeling sad, anxious, confused, or angry. These feelings are normal and common, and they do not necessarily mean that you have a mental illness. However, if these feelings persist, interfere with your daily life, or cause you distress, you may benefit from speaking to a doctor about your mental health concerns.

A doctor can help you understand what is causing your mental health problems, and offer you treatment options that suit your needs and preferences. Treatment options can include medication, therapy, counseling, or other forms of support. According to research, treatment can improve your mental health and quality of life, and prevent your condition from getting worse.

Seeking support for your mental well-being is a brave and empowering choice. Many people face mental health challenges during the holidays, and you deserve understanding and support. Remember, you’re not alone, and there’s no need to endure silently. If you are worried about your mental health, please talk to a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can begin the journey toward feeling better.

If you are looking for a reliable and professional mental health service, Casco Bay Recovery is a licensed and accredited facility that offers personalized and holistic care for people with mental health and substance use disorders. We have a team of experienced and compassionate staff who can help you with your mental health goals. If you need therapy, medication, or other types of help, Casco Bay Recovery is here to help. Reach out today to find out more.

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