The holidays paint a picture of joy and merriment. A time to celebrate faith, tradition, family, and friends. For many, the holiday season does incite merriment. There are a multitude of individuals that experience an increase in mental health symptoms, during the holidays.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America noted that 16.1 million Americans are affected by Major Depression Disorder; 6.8 million impacted by Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Often, when people have concerns with anxiety or depression; these mental health concerns frequently co-occur (AADA.org, 2017).
Quick Guide to the Holidays and Mental Health
Limit setting: YOU get to decide how much time to spend with family, friends, and all other types of holiday activities. Often, quantity of alcohol and/or poor eating habits increase how stress is received in our bodies. For example, drinking large quantities of caffeine can increase anxiety. It is okay to say NO!
Schedule: Adhere to a schedule. I hate to admit this but having a routine does help. Build time for YOU, in your daily routine. As a person that has struggled with the holiday blues, I can attest to that!
Professional Help: Seek out a mental health professional. There is nothing more fulfilling than being able to process life with a professionally-trained third party person.
Expectations: Get rid of expectations! All of them !(I am just kidding). Downsize your holiday expectations to a manageable amount.
Self-care: Take a bath. Read a book. Drink more water. Meditate. Exercise. Lay under your Christmas tree and enjoy every minute of it. Take care of you, this holiday season.
Further Resources & Reading Recommendations
AADA.org (8/2017) Facts & Statistics Retrieved from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
Disclaimer: This is collection of my personal experience and research. You, as the reader never have to agree with my thoughts or perspectives. As always, I challenge you to seek out further information about mental heath.