We all feel stressed from time to time during the holiday season – there is pressure to attend social events, give gifts, travel and more that can take a toll on one’s mental health. In fact, a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that nearly a quarter of Americans report feeling extreme stress during this time of year and 45% of Americans would prefer to skip the holidays entirely to avoid the associated stress.
Another study, this one from from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), found almost two-thirds (64%) of people with mental illness report the holidays make their conditions worse. Stress or anxiety associated with holiday activities can contribute to worsening symptoms.
This year may feel especially challenging, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss of loved ones, financial stress from lost jobs, and feelings of anxiety because of the uncertainties associated with the pandemic – these are all impacting the way people feel.
If you feel anxious about finding a new “normal” this holiday season, that’s OK. It’s important that you adjust at your own pace and take care of your mental wellbeing along the way. Here are a few tips from Mental Health First Aid to help you take care of your mental health this holiday season.
Whether you feel excited, nervous, anxious or stressed (or all of these!) about the coming holiday season, you are not alone. By taking small actions each day, you can #BeTheDifference for yourself and make your mental wellbeing a priority.
For more tips around managing your mental health during the holidays, check out these blogs from Mental Health First Aid:
Clarity Clinic. (2021, June 17). Holiday stress. https://www.claritychi.com/holiday-stress/.
Mental Health First Aid USA. (2020). Mental Health First Aid USA for adults assisting adults. Washington, DC: National Council for Mental Wellbeing.
National Alliance on Mental Illness California. Maintaining mental health during the holiday season (and a pandemic). https://namica.org/blog/handling-stress-during-the-holiday-season/ .