Managing your mental health this holiday season

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – While the holidays can be a happy time of year for many, the combination of cooking, buying gifts, and getting ready for family can take a toll on a person’s mental health. Add to the ongoing epidemic and it can cause even more stress.

Many of us gather around the Thanksgiving table today to share a meal and company.

But what you may not see is the stress and anxiety that family or friends may be dealing with.

“I think as we get closer to the holidays, we know we’re going to see an extended family, we know we want to finish all our shopping, and so the stress starts building and building, and different people have different stresses,” said Pat Schultz, an outpatient therapist.

It’s important to recognize these stressors, Schultz says.

“We know what’s stressing us out, and it usually doesn’t come as a surprise, whether it’s in the money or at this time of year, whether you’ve had a big loss at this time of year,” Schultz said.

Making sure you get enough sleep and stay physically active can also help if you’re dealing with stress.

“Exercise, that’s usually the first thing we go to when we’re really busy, even just walking around the block, getting outside, it’s not so much exercise as sunlight, it’s moving your body, and oxygen into your body,” Schultz said.

She says no matter what you’re dealing with this holiday season, it’s okay to ask for help.

“I think sometimes we think because when we’re depressed or anxious, it doesn’t show up on a blood test, it doesn’t show up, it’s not a broken bone, it doesn’t show up on an X-ray, but it doesn’t make it any less real and it doesn’t make any of the things,” said Schultz. Which we feel is less realistic, so it’s definitely important to ask, ‘It’s not going to change unless you change something.

For resources, Schultz recommends calling your primary care physician or calling the 211 Helpline Center.

Leave a Comment