The Christmas season is not always merry and bright for some. In fact, 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse (NAMI, 2014). For some, the pressure to be happy just heightens their already existing depression, and too many expectations from others can be overwhelming. Some of the top reasons the holiday can seem to worsen things is due to financial hardship, feelings of loneliness, and triggers of the past (e.g. memories with loved ones).
So how do you manage?? Avoid situations that will tempt you to cope negatively, such as binging on alcohol or self-medicating with drugs. Now is the time to surround yourself with positivity to drive out those defeatist voices in your head. Practice mindfulness. (Follow the link for more mindfulness resources https://msw.usc.edu/mindful-living-resources/ )
Other ways that will help you to cope during the holidays are to maintain your therapy sessions. Don't make excuses to not show up for your appointments. And lastly, set goals that are realistic!
May the new year bring a new mindset-- let go of the pain that kept you bound, and allow 2020 to be a year of mental liberation!