5 ways to overcome the holiday anxiety

Posted at 5:51 AM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-18 08:46:16-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The holidays are typically a joyful time of year to spend with family and friends but for some, the holidays mean stress and anxiety.

In fact, according to a recent study, this time of year is stressful for 88 percent of Americans and this type of seasonal depression can strike anyone – at any age.

“Even people who don’t struggle with mental health or substance use disorder they have an increase sometimes in stress and even loneliness,” said Saima Chauhan, the Journey Mental Health Clinical team manager.

These four events can trigger negative feelings during a time of peace, love, and joy for most:

  1. Worrying about overspending and finances.
  2. Family gatherings.
  3. Growing to-do lists.
  4. Loneliness or grief over the loss of a loved one.

Here are five ways to ensure you have a healthy and happy season.

  1. Stay on a budget around the holidays.
  2. Prioritize your to-do list and don’t take on too much.
  3. If gathering certain family members together leads to festive fallouts, make sure you set boundaries or divide your time.
  4. For those who suffered a loss this year, make new traditions to keep that person’s memory alive
  5. If you’re alone, volunteer or join group activities.

If the stress becomes too much, you may need to seek medical treatment.

We also spoke with Lyndsay Volpe-Bertram, a psychologist at Spectrum Health who also offered some tips as well: