These are supposed to be happy times during the holiday seasons. Between everything that may be going on holiday parties, family get togethers, vacations, and celebrating the new year. The holidays can be full of joy, but they can also be stressful and challenging for those impacted by mental health, devastation, or loss of a loved one.
According to NAMI, “You are not alone”, as a 2021 survey showed that three in five Americans feel the holidays negatively impacted their mental health .
So, what are ways that we can care for our self during the holiday seasons?
Here are some tips to prevent holiday stress and depression:
- Take care of yourself. This can be done through self-care and forming healthy habits. For example, going on a walk, doing yoga, going to the gym, watching a movie, reading a book or something that can help you feel less worried and take your mind off a stressful environment and help you boost your mental health and deal with stressful activities.
- Ask for help. Talk with a therapist or make plans with a trusted individual, best friend that you can trust, or a trusted family member. Asking for help is not a weakness, it shows that you are strong and have the courage to do so you matter. If you are sad, anxious, depressed, stresses please don’t be afraid to ask for help. BCA Therapy has therapists in Wayne and Yardley that can help you today!
- Focus on what you can control. Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. If something is bothering, you that is out of your control quit worrying about it and thinking about it, there is nothing you can do about it. This will help you relieve a lot of stress and help you focus on what is in your control.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. Just because everyone around you is drinking doesn’t mean you have too as well. If someone offers you a drink and you don’t want to drink say “NO”. It is important to set boundaries for the holiday season no matter who is around. By avoiding drugs and alcohol you avoid an increase in depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Identify holiday triggers. Triggers could be people, places, and things that remind you of past trauma or upsetting events. Examples of holiday triggers could be traumatic memories, a narcissist family member, a loss of a loved one, stressful family relationships, or emotional breakups. To avoid holiday triggers put a plan in place ahead of the holidays to avoid these emotional holiday triggers. These plans can put a plan in place to avoid those triggers and help you reduce holiday related stress.
Unresolved trauma can haunt us in many ways. Certain events from the past may involuntarily trigger reactions in us that we haven’t thought about in years. This could be guilt, shame, fear, or anger sourcing from early in our lives. When we don’t deal with our trauma, we carry it with us. We haven’t made sense of our story, and therefore, our past is still impacting our present in countless, invisible ways. This can not only affect our relationships in countless ways, but it may also influence how we parent, how we relate to our partner, how we feel, think, and operate in our daily lives.
Signs of unresolved trauma is impacting your relationship:
- You are constantly worried about being rejected. Unloved or abandoned.
- You struggle to believe them when they say they love you.
- You fell less than or not got enough and try to make up for it.
- You find it hard to trust others.
These are all trauma responses that have been formed as a result of being hurt at some stage and we’ve unconsciously created these patterns as a way of coping and avoiding being hurt again.
If you recognize yourself on this list, I will not feel ashamed! Please know that you’re being shown where to focus on healing so that you’re able to enjoy yourself and your relationships on a whole new level.
At BCA Therapy in Wayne and Yardley, Pennsylvania we have therapists who specialize in trauma therapy and can help you move past your trauma. It is never too late to seek the help you deserve!Learn More