Tips for staying on top of your mental health this holiday season

From uncomfortable conversations around the dinner table to holiday shopping, your mental health matters.
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 3:10 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - As families get together it can be a time to look back on all the good that happened over the year.

It can also be a time for tough or unwanted conversations.

An American Psychological Association survey found that 38% of people surveyed reported heightened stress levels during the holiday season.

In another study, the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness reported 64% of people living with mental illness felt their condition worsen during the season.

“It’s a chance to celebrate those gatherings. Anything that may get in the way of that, there are means to graciously exit the situation to maintain your mental health,” said Vince Erickson with the Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network.

For the first time in years, families are joined around the table to converse and catch up.

The Covid-19 pandemic took that away from so many.

Even more than gatherings, covid took loved ones.

The emotions that come with such a loss can be drug back up during the holiday season giving way to a decline in mental health or stability.

“If you experienced a loss in the last year know it’ll be magnified during the holiday seasons. If you’ve had a loss, a friend, a family member. Any sort of loss. It may have been the loss of a job. Loss is a loss, there’s grief that goes with that,” said Erickson.

Everyone handles holiday stress individually.

Some tips that may be beneficial to you are…

1. Do not “over” anything: over cook, over prepare, over worry, over think

2. It is not necessary to fix things during one day or weekend with those you love. Leave those topics out of your conversations and do not be afraid to walk away.


3. Acknowledge to yourself and others that holiday celebrations are stressful even in the most planned out and perfect situations.

“Being aware of what’s going on with you, the individual person, again each person is very different in how their experiences, they’re all very different,” said Erickson.

HOTBHN services Bosque, Falls, Limestone, Freestone, Hill and McLennan County.

If you feel the holidays taking a toll on you, their crisis services hotline is available 24/7 at 866-752-3451.