The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports 64% of people with diagnosed mental health concerns say they experience a worsening of symptoms during the holidays. Loneliness, financial stress, unrealistic expectations, and being overwhelmed by increases in day-to-day activities or responsibilities all contribute to this. We may feel more pressure to be “joyful” or participate in social activities during the holiday season. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, could be more problematic as we remember “better” holidays in the past and are unable to be with our friends and families as we would normally.
While some sadness and anxious feelings are considered normal, they are usually temporary and resolve on their own, according to experts at the Mayo Clinic. If they get worse, or last for two weeks or more, you should seek help from a medical or mental health provider. If you have a history of an alcohol or substance use disorder, it can be difficult to maintain your sobriety without a good support system during the holidays. These symptoms and concerns aren’t limited to adults, as children and teens can experience the same kinds of issues.
There are a number of coping strategies and ways to take care of yourself through the holidays.
We want to remind everyone to reach out if you need help. You are not alone. Coastal Harbor Health System is committed to supporting our community members with mental health concerns during the holiday season.
Sally H. Perry, LPC
Chief Executive Officer