Tips on managing anxiety this holiday season

Peace of Mind: Managing Holiday Anxiety
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 7:03 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - In case you haven’t counted, we are a week away from Thanksgiving, 21 days away from Hanukkah and 39 days away from Christmas.

Gathering with friends and family around food and presents typically creates a busy end of the year.

The busyness of the holiday season can produce joyful memories, but also stress.

Lynn Kyle, the executive director of the Lampion Center, sees an increase in anxiety and depression.

“As many as people who are joyous about it and shopping and doing all kinds of fun things, there are people that find it stressful,” she explains. “A lot of that is expectations that people have walking into that or expectations that people have on you.”

Kyle says that if you think through the holidays ahead of time and have a plan, it can alleviate some stress.

“You may not want to put yourself in a situation that might be that stressful in the first place and you just want to decline.”

Coping with grief and loss can also cause anxiety, stress and sadness around the holidays.

“Grief is meant to be processed. You just want to do that in a way that’s safe,” she says. “You don’t want it to overburden you but loss is loss and sometimes it’s just dealing with it head on and acknowledging this is going to be kind of tough. But you can do it and you can do it a whole lot better if you have support and connection with others.”

Practicing saying no to things that might not be the best for you and your family helps in preparation for the season.

“Coming up with an alternative. Instead of saying no, if there’s a way that you can turn it into a yes, that way there is a connection there but maybe it’s a yes of your choosing, after the holidays when things aren’t so stressful.”

If you or someone you know is in need of mental health resources or help, click here.