How To Handle Emotional Stress This Holiday Season

Holiday Stress

How To Handle Emotional Stress This Holiday Season

For some, the holiday seasons are a place of joy, happiness, and a time to spend with family and loved ones. But for many others, the holidays are also a place that’s difficult for those who have a mental illness. Through feelings of loneliness and isolation, many people go through the holiday seasons in silence, and some external stressors that come with the season, including extensive enthusiasm and compulsive positivity, can cause those negative stressors to intensify and create troublesome situations for all involved. If you’re the kind of person who tends to have a difficult time during the holidays, then don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Why Brushing Off Your Symptoms Is A Terrible Idea

First of all, it’s important to remember that if you have any mental illness, you matter. Your feelings matter, your thoughts matter, and you as a person matters. For those you consider your family or loved ones, you matter to them, and if you find yourself hiding your emotions during the season because of the pressures the holidays bring, then know that there are better ways to cope and heal. As a matter of fact, many people often suffer from mental illnesses during the holidays, including seasonal depression, severe anxiety, eating disorders, and PTSD.

The holidays are not just the most wonderful time of the year but are also a time of significant stress for people everywhere. For hundreds of people that celebrate these holidays, this time of the year brings about huge financial pressures for middle to lower class families, the social pressure of giving gifts to loved ones and friends, the concept of spending time with family members (even ones you don’t get along with), and most of all, a lack of time to truly spend this period enjoying it from the pressures of work and life.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least 64% of people that suffer from mental illness state that their conditions worsen during the holidays, and because of these feelings of being overwhelmed and depressed, it’s important to find coping mechanisms that not only allow you to express these emotions in a safe environment but also find ways to have better control over your circumstances.

How To Identify Your Symptoms and Handle Emotional Stress

Identifying your triggers, understanding your emotions, and handling emotional stress when it arises takes a lot of mental work, but there are ways to find compassion towards yourself during this time. Our tips for identifying your emotions include:

  • Managing Your Expectations: This means being mindful of the moments you are in and removing expectations of yourself during the holidays.
  • Find Room To Grieve: Taking the time to experience grief over the loss of a loved one can be a healthy way to care for yourself and understand your emotions.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries: For those with toxic friends and family members, setting boundaries is essential for your mental health.
  • Take Care of Your Body Too: Not only does your mental health need attention, but so does your physical health, as taking care of your body can also help your mind.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for the support you need. Set up an appointment with your local therapist or psychiatrist today to make yourself a priority during the holidays.

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April is the founder of Prestige Mental Health and is a board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP-BC) who is qualified to practice primary care and psychiatry. She is passionate about providing quality, compassionate, and comprehensive mental health services to children, adolescents, and adults. April specializes in psychiatric illnesses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, PTSD/trauma, bipolar, and schizophrenia.