But there are ways to cope.
Frederick, Md (KM). It’s not always a “holly, jolly Christmas” for some people this time of year. Mental health experts say the Holidays can be a stressful time for many people as they become overwhelmed from buying presents, putting up decorations, entertaining family and friends, and attending Christmas parties. But there is a solution. “Stick to your normal routine as much as possible,” says Shannon Aleshire, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County. “We’re pulled here, there and everywhere during this season. But if you try and manage your expectations, plan ahead a little bit and stick your routines, that’s a good thing.”
Related to that, mental health experts say keep your expectations about the Holidays within reason. The perfect Christmas, which has “snow and mistletoe and presents by the tree” as the old song goes, is not always feasible. Along with that, turn your attention away from yourself and on those who are less fortunate than you.
Aleshire says find some time for yourself. “Getting exercise is another really good way to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling stressed, take a five-minute break, go for a walk,” she says
As you find time for yourself, Aleshire says go out to dinner occasionally by alone.. But don’t’ isolate yourself. “And by isolate, that could either mean that you’re sitting alone at home; or it could mean you’;re spending a lot of time looking at your digital device rather than interacting with people,” she says.
While taking some time out for yourself, Aleshire says be sure to get plenty of sleep and keep up your exercise routine. And don’t over indulge. “Watch your eating and drinking, and only in moderation,” she says. “We tend to do a little too much of both during the Holiday times.”
Another reason for feeling down during the Holidays is the loss of a loved one, especially if their death occurred during the Christmas season, or that person loved the Holidays. Mental health experts says learn to grieve. Talk about your feelings with a support group.
Mental health experts also says cut back on commitments; you are not obligated to go to attend every party when you receive an invitation. It’s okay to sit one out during the season.
If you’re experiencing a crisis during the Christmas season, call the Mental Health Association hot line and ask for help. The number is 1-866-411-6803, or 211.
By Kevin McManus