As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday festivities begin, don't forget to prioritize your mental health. There's a misconception that with the holidays, everyone and everything is perfect. Unfortunately, that is not the situation for many. This is a reminder to take care of yourself and your friends during the holidays.
Because let's be honest - the holidays are stressful.
All the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and socializing piled on top of one another is a lot for one person to take on. This next month is going to go by quickly with everything happening. As a result, it is so important to be aware of mental health during this time. There's a misconception that mental health issues vanish if everything seems okay. This is simply not true. Anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other struggles can affect a person for their whole lifetime.
You might be wondering how a time with so much joy, family time, and activities could be damaging.
To tell you the truth, those might be some of the very reasons the holidays are so hard. Well, consider this: It might look like an ordinary family dinner or holiday party to you, but for someone else, it might feel like drowning in a deep ocean. All the noise, touching, and conversations can be overwhelming for a person with anxiety. A day spent ice skating may seem fun for you, but for the person who has depression, they may want to do it but lack the energy.
The holidays can be tiring and mentally draining for many people in so many ways.
This time of year will not affect everyone the same way, but it's important to keep in mind that it is affecting everyone in at least one way. Now that you're a bit more aware of the people around you, here's a short list of of how you can help your loved ones this year.
1. Don't completely shut out the holiday cheer.
It can be beneficial and create a sense of belonging. Just make sure you're aware of how your loved one is feeling.
2. Make sure to check-in.
Sometimes, people don't want to talk about how they're feeling. They will just go along with what's happening so everyone else can be happy. It's important to really check-in and follow up so that you can find out how someone is feeling and if they're okay.
3. Remind them that it's okay to tap-out.
Make sure to remind the person that it's okay if they need a minute or need to leave. Although you're happy that they are there, mental health should come first.
4. Be a supporter.
Offer any help you can provide. Any small action you take can make all the difference!
5. Lastly, make sure to take care of yourself.
Thanksgiving and Christmas always coincide with busy schedules and stress. Make sure to care for yourself and your loved ones.
If you or a loved one needs immediate help, please call a medical professional or any of the the following:
Emergency Medical Services: 911
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Help Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP(4357)