Coping with mental health struggles during the holiday season

The holiday season is a time to be merry and joyful, but for many it can be a stressful time of year.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Coping with mental health struggles during the holiday season
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Sometimes, getting into the holiday spirit is difficult. Whether it's the change in routine, gift giving, family gatherings or grief after losing a loved one, the holidays can grea

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Sometimes, getting into the holiday spirit is difficult. Whether it's the change in routine, gift giving, family gatherings or grief after losing a loved one, the holidays can greatly impact our mental health.

"Scheduled gatherings that don't happen throughout the year or seeing folks you haven't seen for a large chunk of time. That's often some of the big stuff," said Dr. Kurt Michael, JED Senior Clinical Director.

Dr. Michael says to practice basic self-care.

"Keep a routine, attend to your sleep, keep good nourishment, take part in physical activity, even if it's just going for a walk. Give yourself some space, stay away from some of those unhelpful comparisons, especially those on social media," he said.

Take a break from devices that might be distracting or further isolating.

"Truly unplug. You know, make actual eye contact with your fellow person," said Dr. Michael.

If you're grieving the loss of a loved one, give yourself grace.

"It's really a time when sometimes these losses are magnified and really put under the microscope. Acknowledge the fact that you've lost this very important person in your life," said Dr. Michael.

And take time to relax.

"Take a hot bath, for example. Take a little extra time to get up in the morning. Have a cup of coffee. Do things that normally you're rushing through. Maybe just take a little bit extra time for yourself and focus on your own needs," said Dr. Michael.