Controlling mental health during the holidays

For some people, the holidays cause more stress and anxiety, especially for those in recovery or struggling with mental health issues.

AUSTIN, Texas – When many of us think about the holiday season, we may get excited when we think about spending time with loved ones or attending holiday gatherings. But for some people, the holidays cause more stress and anxiety, especially those in recovery or struggling with mental health issues.

There are a variety of reasons why your vacation might not be a joyful one. It can be the jam-packed social calendar, deadlines at work, the loss of a loved one, sunless winter days, or all of the above.

According to a survey by American Psychological AssociationPeople say their stress increases during the holiday season, which can lead to physical illness, depression, anxiety and even substance abuse.

Experts say mental health is just as important as your physical health checks. It should be treated like anything else you are seeking help with when it comes to you and your body.

Experts say it’s good to accept those feelings of sadness and stress.
Once you do this, it will be easier to approach them.

“Something very powerful happens when we name our emotions,” said Dr. Peace Amadi, a mental health expert and professor. “When we acknowledge what we’re experiencing, a part of the brain is unlocked that begins to heal and problem solve.”

There are ways we can prepare and hopefully take some of the increased stress out of the holiday season. It’s important to realize that we have more control than we think we have. However, it is equally important to recognize that even if we put these ideas into practice and continue to feel overwhelmed or depressed, professional help is available.

KVUE has listed mental health resources for anyone seeking help:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a toll-free, 24-hour lifeline for individuals experiencing emotional distress or crisis. Call 1-800-273-8255 to speak to a trained listener.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text MHA 741-741
    Crisis Text Line offers free, confidential SMS support for people experiencing emotional distress or crisis. It is available 24/7. Text “MHA” to 741-741 for assistance.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA): Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
    The SAMHSA National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365 days a year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families dealing with mental health and/or substance use disorders.
    For more informations, click here.

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Laura Coffey

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