Seven Tips for Holiday Mental Health

PRS, a local nonprofit that helps individuals living with serious mental health issues and facing life crises, continues to field more client inquiries and callers through its 24/7 hotline from those experiencing crisis or severe anxiety due to the pandemic. The upcoming holiday season can exacerbate these feelings. In response, the nonprofit has put together a list of seven tips to help more people cope and manage the holiday season better.

“The pandemic has added stress, grief, and uncertainty for most. For those who already suffer from mental health challenges, it can be even harder,” said Joseph Getch, CEO, PRS. “With the holidays upon us, a time of emotional highs and lows, we wanted to share tips that can be helpful for everyone to navigate the season during the ongoing public health crisis.”

Seven tips to help anyone manage mental health during the holiday season:

  1. Evaluate Rituals: If you’ve lost a loved one, it’s important to take time to acknowledge that holidays are full of rituals you may have shared with your loved one. Determine what feels better: to continue with the structure of how things used to be or to make it different this year.

  2. Prepare: Control the things you can by planning in advance for holiday meals and purchases. Also, delegate to family members and guests to reduce your burden.

  3. Turn Off and Tune Out: The 24/7 nature of media and social media can increase anxiety. Be purposeful about turning off the TV, radio, cell phones and tuning out for several hour increments every day to help provide perspective and calm.

  4. Keep in Touch: Connecting virtually by phone, Zoom or in person with loved ones and friends is a great way to reduce stress and remember what is important during the holidays.

  5. Stay Active: Being physically active is important to maintain overall health. Take a break and work out or go on a walk to reduce stress during the holidays.

  6. Help Others: Many nonprofits need help delivering services for others who are struggling. Helping others helps provide purpose. If you cannot give or volunteer, then help a neighbor who may need a chore done or errand run.

  7. Call/Text/Chat:  Calling or texting a local hotline or chatting online with the Lifeline is always an option if stress and anxiety seem insurmountable. Call: 800-273-TALK [8255], Text: “CONNECT” to 855-11 or logon to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org/chat.

PRS (www.prsinc.org) is a regional nonprofit helping those living with serious mental health issues and anyone who faces life crises achieve independence and self-sufficiency. PRS provides clients with skill training and support to help them recover and rebuild their lives through programs such as: Recovery Academy Day Programs, Community Support Services, Employment Services, Community Housing, Coordinated Specialty Care and CrisisLink. CrisisLink is a 24/7 phone, chat and text hotline. For 24/7 support from CrisisLink, call 1-800-273-TALK or text ‘Connect’ to 855-11.  For 24/7 chat support, visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

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