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holiday stress

How to Manage Mental Health Symptoms During the Holidays Amidst COVID-19

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This year’s holiday season is like no other. That’s because the world is going through a pandemic and people are socially distancing from one another and wearing masks. Some people may not even celebrate the holidays with their loved ones this year due to suffering from COVID 19 symptoms. The shear stress of the winter and holiday season is enough on its own. 

Adding the stresses of the COVID 19 pandemic to it though can take a toll on people’s mental health. To ensure that this year’s holiday stress doesn’t get the best of you Christmas 2020, we’re going to inform you on how to manage your mental health during the holidays amidst the current pandemic. 

How the Shear Stress of the Pandemic Has Caused People to Experience Mental Health Symptoms

The current COVID 19 pandemic has brought a large amount of shear stress to people’s lives this year. Countless of people are grieving the loss of loved ones that have passed due to the coronavirus. On top of that, everyone is constantly worrying about developing COVID 19 symptoms. Dealing with the grief and constant worry of the coronavirus can take a toll on people’s mental health. 

How to Manage Mental Health Symptoms During the Holidays Amidst COVID-19

According to William M. Sauvé, MD, medical director of the Virginia region of Greenbook TMS NeuroHealth Centers, “emerging data, historical studies, and expert opinion point to a tremendous impact of COVID-19 on the development and exacerbation of psychiatric issues.” CDC data even backs up Sauvé’s statement. This is evident in the fact that, according to CDC data, there has been a significant increase in people suffering from anxiety and depression. 

Also, according to an old Kaiser Family Foundation poll from the spring of 2020, nearly half of Americans reported that the coronavirus is harming their mental health. This percentage has only increased since then as the number of coronavirus cases in America has gone up. 

Why People Suffer from Mental Health Symptoms During Pandemic

One reason why so many people are suffering from mental health symptoms during the pandemic that we already mentioned is that many people are grieving the loss of loved ones who’ve died due to the coronavirus. Another reason why many people are suffering from mental health symptoms during the pandemic is that people are no longer receiving the level of socialization that they’re used to due to social distancing. This lack of socialization often leads to increased feelings of loneliness, which, in turn, often leads to depressive symptoms

The sheer stress of worrying about catching the coronavirus can even cause people to experience anxiety symptoms. This is especially true for those that continuously hear about increasing coronavirus rates on the news. 

Even the people that have caught and recovered from the coronavirus are suffering mental health consequences. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus itself can cause neurological and mental complications like delirium, agitation, and stroke. 

Healthcare workers are especially feeling the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus. In fact, in one cross-sectional study done on healthcare workers in China during the pandemic, 50% of China’s healthcare workers reported suffering from depression symptoms, 45% reported suffering from anxiety symptoms, 34% reported suffering from insomnia symptoms, and 72% reported suffering from distress. Combine all of these increasing mental health symptoms with holiday stress, and you’ve created a recipe for mental health.

Holiday Stress

As joyful as the holidays are, they can also be quite stressful. This is particularly true during Christmas when people are expected to purchase great gifts for one another. The stress of purchasing Christmas gifts is especially stressful for people that have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. 

Another aspect of Christmas 2020 that will cause shear stress is entertaining family members and friends safely. This is a particularly stressful aspect of Christmas this year due to the coronavirus and people’s desire to not catch COVID 19 symptoms. Below are some tips on how to manage your mental health throughout the rest of the holidays this year without sacrificing the fun that comes with Christmas time. 

Tips for Managing Mental Health Symptoms and Holiday Stress During Christmas 2020

Concerned about how you and your family can maintain good mental health during Christmas 2020? Well, if so, here are some tips for managing mental health that you should take up.

Practice Self-Care

One way to take care of your family this Holiday season is to first take care of yourself. Thus, if you want to reduce your mental health symptoms during Christmas 2020, you should practice self-care. 

Self-care is slightly different for everyone. This is because every individual has his or her hobbies that help reduce stress. For example, for some people, self-care is taking a bubble bath while for others self-care is listening to music. Whatever you need to do to make yourself feel refreshed, happy, and healthy, do it. 

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Many of the ways that you would practice self-care are also great ways to improve your overall physical and mental health. For example, exercising is a great form of self-care and a great way to manage physical and mental health. That’s because exercise helps your brain release endorphins. 

Endorphins are feel-good chemicals in your brain. Thus, exercising can boost your mood. The fact that exercising is also a great way to stay physically healthy and build your immune system during the pandemic is a win-win. 

Another thing that you can do to live a physically and mentally healthier lifestyle during the holidays this year is to get a full night of sleep each night. Sleep helps your body restore itself and rid itself of toxins. Thus, it can help you stay physically and mentally healthy. 

Eating well-balanced meals every day can also help you maintain good physical and mental health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, in general, is a great way to up your chances of being able to fight off the coronavirus if you were to ever get it.    

Practice Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Outside of the basic ways that you can live a healthy lifestyle, there are countless different things that you can use as healthy coping mechanisms when you’re struggling with mental health symptoms. For example, you can practice yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation can help you cope with mental health symptoms by redirecting your focus and calming down your brain.  

Other tools that you can use as healthy coping mechanisms for your mental health range from journaling to utilizing aromatherapy, to creating art, and more. As long as the coping mechanisms that you choose don’t harm anyone and benefit your mind, body, or soul in some way, the use of them can help you manage your mental health during Christmas 2020. 

Using healthy coping mechanisms to manage your mental health is important because not using them can cause you to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms. 

Practice Safe Health Measures

So that you and your loved ones don’t get COVID 19 symptoms during the pandemic, practice safe health measures. For example, immediately wash your hands every time you return home from somewhere. 

You and your loved ones should also wear masks anytime that you’re outside of your home during Christmas 2020. Also, make sure to socially distance yourself from others when outside of the home.

Take a Break from Watching News on the Pandemic

While watching the news to get updates on the pandemic is tempting, it’s often not good for your mental health. During Christmas 2020, give yourself a break from the news for a while and focus on your family. 

Don’t Place Impossible Standards on Yourself

Christmas 2020 will be unlike any other Christmas due to the pandemic. Therefore, you shouldn’t stress yourself out by trying to do everything that you normally do during the holidays. 

Trying to achieve impossible standards of holiday cheer and festivities is the quickest way to create holiday stress for yourself. During Christmas 2020, keep up with the holiday traditions that you can safely keep up with, and don’t worry about the rest. 

Don’t Let the Actions of Others Affect You

Sometimes the holiday season can be hectic. Especially when driving, traveling, or shopping. Thus, when you go out during the rest of the holidays, don’t let the opinions and actions of others affect you too much. Instead, keep your cool and focus on yourself and your loved ones. 

Acknowledge the Stress That You’re Under

While you shouldn’t worry about achieving impossible standards or let the actions of others get to you, that doesn’t mean that you have to pretend that you’re not under stress. This holiday season is a little stressful for everyone. Thus, you shouldn’t feel guilty about feeling stress. Just make sure that you deal with the holiday stress that you feel in the right ways. 

Acknowledge when you’re feeling stressed and vent to others if you need to. Remember, your feelings are always valid.

Take Some Time Out for Yourself 

After you acknowledge that you’re stressed, take a moment for yourself to breathe and regroup or do an activity that normally helps you relieve stress. Then you can get back to spending the holidays with the ones you love. 

Don’t Lose Sight of What Matters

At the end of the day, the holidays are about being grateful and the love that you share with your family and friends. It’s important to remember this when you start to feel the shear stress of the holidays. Otherwise, you’ll always be stressed about something and you won’t get to enjoy the best part of the holidays, spending time with your loved ones. 

Montare Behavioral Health Can Help You Improve Your Mental Health

Montare Behavioral Health is a luxury mental health treatment center in Los Angeles, CA. Thus, regardless of what mental health issue you might be dealing with this holiday season, we can help you. 

At Montare Behavioral Health, we offer a wide variety of individualized clinical and holistic mental health therapy and treatment programs. That way when you leave our treatment center, you will have improved the health of your body, mind, and soul. To learn more about Montare BH and the mental health treatment services that we offer, contact us today!