ABH Maryland

Reliable Ways to Cope with Mental Health During the Holidays


Reliable Ways to Cope with Mental Health During the Holidays

  • Mental Health

This season can be challenging for people coping with issues surrounding mental health during the holidays. The pressure to be happy, the strain of social interactions, and the financial stress of the holidays can all exacerbate existing mental health conditions.

But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. Read on for coping strategies and helpful tips to ensure you enjoy your fair share of cheer this holiday season.

Holiday Coping Strategies

Family Anxiety Coping Strategies

Family anxiety is an experience many can relate to during the holidays. Anxiety, defined by the American Psychological Association is: “An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” Family expectations can be unreasonable, airports and traffic might stress you out, and the fear of starting a blowout can all trigger anxiety symptoms.

Are you looking at your holiday calendar with dread? Here are some things to try:

  • Set appropriate boundaries. Remember that your needs are as important as anybody else’s, and you have the right to protect them.
  • Communicate with your family. Let them know how you’re feeling and what you need from them. Beginning your sentences with “I feel…” is a good way of sharing your needs clearly without creating conflict. 
  • Take breaks from social interaction. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take time to relax and recharge. You don’t have to go to every party or get-together!
  • Practice relaxation techniques. Yoga, deep breathing, and meditation can all help to reduce anxiety.
  • Seek professional help if needed. If your anxiety is severe or is interfering with your daily life, a therapist can help you to develop coping mechanisms.

Loneliness Coping Strategies

Loneliness can be most painful during the holidays. When images of happy families surround us, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone.

If you’re feeling lonely this year, try these simple ideas:

  • Volunteer your time. Helping others can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and make you feel connected to your community. This action is a great way to turn a dreaded holiday away from home into a rewarding experience. 
  • Join a group or club. Joining a group or club can help you to meet new people and make new friends. 
  • Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling with loneliness, don’t fight it alone. A therapist can help you to develop coping mechanisms.

Coping Strategies for Isolation from Family

Sometimes, we cannot see our family during the holidays due to distance, financial constraints, or other factors.

Here are some tips for coping with this challenging circumstance: 

  • Stay connected with your family however you can. Keep in touch with your family through video calls, phone calls, or email.
  • Create new traditions. Start your own holiday traditions with friends or loved ones close to you.
  • Focus on the positive. Remind yourself of all the things you’re grateful for.
  • Seek professional help if needed. If you’re struggling with not being able to see your family, a therapist can help you to cope with your feelings.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Many people struggle with mental health issues during the holidays. Resources are available to help you cope, so please don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Remember, you are worthy of love and happiness and deserve to enjoy the holidays.

Contact Us

At Advanced Behavioral Health, we understand that good mental health during the holidays can be challenging for people struggling with issues such as depression and anxiety.

You don’t have to handle the holidays alone. We care about your mental well-being and can offer ways to cope with the season’s challenges.

Our team of qualified mental health professionals is standing by to schedule a consultation with you. You can call us at 301-345-1022 or visit our website to get started. One of our team members will help you find the peace you deserve.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.