Winter holidays can be a source of joy, bringing people together and creating lasting positive memories. For many, though, including those who see the holiday season in a positive light overall, the season can be a time of stress and pressure. The week before Thanksgiving (Nov 14-16, 2023), the American Psychological Association surveyed more than 2000 U.S. adults. According to the survey, 89% said they feel stress or pressure related to family or finances during the late winter holidays, and among those who celebrate non-Christian holidays at this time of year, around one in five “experience stress because the holiday season doesn’t reflect their culture, religion or traditions,” which for some sparks worries about isolation or discrimination.
Regardless of the underlying causes of stress between November and January each year, what’s important is acknowledging those struggles and seeking out healthy means of coping. Recently, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health shared resources for those experiencing depression during the holidays and encouraged loved ones to check in. The power of a loved ones presence, they reminded, is it’s own kind of holiday gift.
At Mental Health America of Greenville County, we have compiled a few in-person and online events that may be useful for addressing mental health and coping challenges during the holidays. Anyone with acute concerns about their own or a loved ones mental health should remember that they are not alone and that 988 accepts calls, texts, and chats around the clock, every day of the year.