Mental Health and the Holidays: Common Struggles and What to Do About Them

Many people find themselves dealing with increased mental health troubles around the holiday season. The combination of early nightfall, social pressure, and personal memories can even get to people who don’t experience mental health struggles year-round; and for those who do, symptoms may be renewed or intensified. 

This year, the pandemic could also add another layer of emotional complexity to the holiday season, keeping you apart from loved ones and interrupting beloved traditions. To protect and support your mental health during the holiday season, start planning ahead now. 

When you’ve got mental health support in place, you have a better chance of beating the holiday blues. The expert care team at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, have the experience you can trust to steer you through this more than typically stressful holiday season with a full range of services, including psychotherapy and counseling.

Adjust your expectations and plan ahead

Our hopes and expectations can be the worst enemy of our moods. When you build up your expectations for holiday events, either positively or negatively, you set yourself up for potential negative mental health impacts. Significant mood disturbances can trigger your mental health symptoms and leave you struggling even after the holiday season comes to a close.

This year during the holidays, you might be looking forward to seeing special friends or family members, and slide into depression if your plans fall through. Or, you might dread a holiday event and become stuck in an anxiety spiral. Holidays often bring up painful memories, causing negative nostalgia and depression.

Holiday events might push you back into proximity with complicated interpersonal situations that you could benefit from discussing with a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. Some people find themselves becoming suicidal around the holiday season. The holidays present unique stresses and mental health triggers, so it only makes sense to be prepared as the fall gives way to winter.

Reach out for holiday support

If you try to handle your holiday stresses, mental health concerns, and difficult symptoms on your own, your mental health could keep eroding, potentially leaving you in crisis. Don’t risk a mental health crisis this year. Get the support you need in place beforehand, so you’ll know where to turn when mental health symptoms rear their heads.

Talk about your fears and feelings with your loved ones, letting them know if you experience mental health symptoms. If you need immediate support for a mental health crisis, or are suicidal, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, at 800-273-8255.

In addition to interpersonal support from your family and friends, you might benefit from professional psychiatric care or therapy over the course of this year’s holiday season. With therapeutic care, you can manage the stresses of the holidays, and keep any mental health symptoms from escalating into serious concerns.

Connect with one of the friendly, understanding therapists at Greater Lowell Psychiatric Associates before the stresses of the holiday season get started. You can book your appointment online, or schedule by giving us a call now.

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