This year, the wake of COVID-19 has thrust countless individuals and families into an emotional whirlwind of stress.
Now, with the upcoming holiday season coming into focus, a time of year that naturally brings with it elevated levels of stress, many are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and worn out.
However, despite the pandemic and holiday “rush” there is hope! IMPOWER wants you to have an emotionally healthy and successful holiday season. We’ve provided three tips that can help you cope with the holidays this year.
1. Know You’re Not Alone
First, take stock of the reality of the situation at hand and know that you are not alone. The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have left all of us, regardless of age, feeling fearful, anxious, depressed and stressed.
In fact, almost 1 in 5 adults have reported being in a worse state of mental health than at this time last year. That rate is even higher for Gen Z individuals (those 23 years old and under) with over one-third stating that their mental health is worse now than it was in 2019.[i]
In addition, in early October, 44.7% of those between 18 and 29 stated they were feeling anxious or depressed.[ii]
2. Understand ‘Compounding Stress’
Even in a year without COVID-19, the holidays are a stressful time. Nearly two-thirds of people report elevated levels of stress during the holidays.[iii]
Family obligations and gatherings can bring heightened levels of anxiety as we strive to “live up” to expectations. Travelling and gift giving can leave us financially strained.
Overall, the holidays add greater burdens on our time and resources, leaving our emotional tanks depleted.
What is more, in light of COVID-19, some families will not be gathering together this year. Many will be celebrating remotely or will be staying at home. For those who do get together many will be observing social distancing and working to remain safe.
Fear of contracting the virus, and feelings of isolation, loneliness and ambiguity will be commonplace this year. As a result, millions will be facing what is called the “compounding effect” of stress. This happens when multiple sources of stressors combine and emotionally debilitate an individual.
Being aware of this, and then changing your expectations in light of it, is essential to adapting to the stressors of this holiday season.
3. Seek Out Support
61% of adults and 82% of Gen Z adults claim they have not received proper emotional support this year.[iv] Whether it be from your social circle, local community or from a licensed professional, be sure to communicate how you are feeling to those around you, and seek out help.
Proper emotional support goes a long way to fostering resiliency. At IMPOWER we’ve been changing lives by protecting, counseling, teaching, and inspiring individuals and families to reach their full potential for over 25 years.
If you’re experiencing any of the feelings mentioned in this article, we encourage you to contact us today. Our telehealth platform makes it easy to receive help in a secure and timely fashion.
For more information, or to schedule your next visit via telehealth, call our Centralized Referrals and Scheduling Department at (321) 639-1224; Option 2.
Also, we are now offering no cost mental health services statewide through telehealth to children and adults who have been impacted by COVID19. Find out more here.
As the holidays approach, know you’re not alone, be aware of compounding stress, don’t ever be afraid to talk through what is going on and seek help.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season. Be safe, breath deep and stay in the moment.
[i] American Psychology Association, Stress in America 2020 Survey Signals a Growing National Mental Health Crisis.
[ii] USA Today, COVID-19 stress isn’t taking a break for the holidays: How experts say you should cope.
[iii] Harvard Medical School, Holiday Stress and the Brain.
[iv] American Psychology Association, Stress in America 2020 Survey Signals a Growing National Mental Health Crisis.
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