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Supporting Mental Health Around the Holidays

Even in the best of times, the holidays bring mixed emotions for many. The anticipation of gathering with loved ones, decorating, enjoying holiday traditions, and sharing gifts bring joy and comfort but can also bring anxiety.

This year’s holiday season is far from typical and for many will bring more anxieties and fewer joys and comforts. Unemployment, isolation, illness, and loss related to the pandemic have seriously diminished the uplifting feelings that are often experienced during the holidays. It is important to recognize that an additional layer of stress envelops us this year and is not within our control to alleviate it. However, we can make efforts to overcome stressors.

During the holidays, there are some specific things we can do to alleviate the stress and sadness we may be feeling. These include maintaining our perspective and keeping in mind that times will improve; tapping into our inner strengths, relying and building upon our resiliency; and leaning on family and friends to support us when we feel overwhelmed.

In a two-part Clinical Insights podcast series, grief investigator Lizzie Pickering shares her expertise on the stages of grief, and how we can best support our patients, colleagues, and ourselves.